The 2020-21 UEFA Nations League continues this weekend, as the Republic of Ireland take on Finland in Dublin on Sunday in Group 4 of League B.
Both sides started their Nations League campaigns last night, with the Republic of Ireland scoring a late equaliser to gain a point against Bulgaria, while Finland lost at home to Wales.
This Sunday will mark another chance for the teams to get their first win of this campaign, so who will come out on top?
Republic of Ireland vs Finland Head-to-Head
The Republic of Ireland have played Finland on five occasions in the past, and the Boys in Green have yet to lose to them. The last game between the two sides came back in 2002, as goals from Robbie Keane, Colin Healy and Graham Barrett handed the Irish a friendly win in Helsinki.
Results for the Republic of Ireland have been mixed recently – they’ve won two of their last seven games but have also only lost one, to Switzerland in October 2019. Following last night’s draw with Bulgaria, new boss Stephen Kenny is still looking for his first win in charge.
Finland, meanwhile, have lost their last two games, although 2019 was a highly successful year for them. They were able to finish second in their Euro 2020 qualifying group, securing a spot at a major international tournament for the first time.
Republic of Ireland form guide: D-L-W-D-D
Finland form guide: L-W-W-L-L
Republic of Ireland vs Finland Team News
Stephen Kenny’s side avoided any injuries in their draw with Bulgaria, meaning that the new boss may name a relatively unchanged side for this match against Finland. The only player forced out of the squad with an injury was striker Troy Parrott, who has returned to his club Millwall following a muscle injury.
Injured: Troy Parrott
Finland boss Markku Kanerva will be without veteran defender Paulus Arajuuri, who has withdrawn from the squad following an injury. Outside of that, the team have no injuries as their squad came away from the loss to Wales unscathed.
Fascinatingly, Finland will be able to call upon defender Daniel O’Shaughnessy – who recently chose to represent the Scandinavians rather than the Republic of Ireland.
Injured: Paulus Arajuuri
Republic of Ireland vs Finland Predicted XI
Finland predicted XI (3-5-2): Lukas Hradecky, Leo Vaisanen, Juhani Ojala, Daniel O’Shaughnessy, Ilmari Niskanen, Glen Kamara, Tim Sparv, Joni Kauko, Jere Juhani Uronen, Joel Pohjanpalo, Teemu Pukki
Republic of Ireland vs Finland Prediction
This promises to be a tricky match to call. On paper at least, the Republic of Ireland probably have the superior talent, with Premier League stars like Matt Doherty, Conor Hourihane and Enda Stevens likely to start.
However, Stephen Kenny’s side didn’t exactly look great against Bulgaria last night, while Finland could well have beaten Wales had their forwards displayed better finishing. They’ve also been on an excellent run in terms of qualifying for Euro 2020.
With all of this in mind, a draw is probably the most likely result for this game.
Prediction: Republic of Ireland 1-1 Finland