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Ukraine vs Finland prediction, preview, team news and more | 2022 FIFA Word Cup Qualifiers

Finland lost both of their last two World Cup qualifying games to Ukraine
Finland lost both of their last two World Cup qualifying games to Ukraine
Sachin Bhat
ANALYST
Modified 26 Mar 2021
Preview

In an enticing battle of the underdogs, Ukraine host Finland at the Arena Lviv on Sunday in the second game of their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Both teams are likely to compete for the runners-up spot in Group D behind world champions France after picking up draws in their respective opening games.

While Ukraine held Les Blues to a stunning 1-1 draw in Paris, Finland fought back from a goal down to secure a point against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Nordic country even secured a place at the upcoming Euros for the first time in their history. However, playing in the World Cup is a completely different prospect and one they'd see as their ultimate goal this year.

Markku Kanerva's side have improved by leaps and bounds in recent years and will hope to seal a playoff spot in the group.

Meanwhile, the Yellow and Blues have qualified for the World Cup just once before in 2006 when they marched all the way to the quarter-finals.

They haven't had much luck since then. However, following their shock result on Thursday, they will aim to contest for second position in the group against Finland and Bosnia.


Ukraine vs Finland Head-To-Head

The only two previous clashes between the sides came during the last World Cup qualifiers.

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On each occasion, Ukraine emerged triumphant, beating Finland home and away with an aggregate score of 3-0.

Ukraine Form Guide (all competitions): W-L-L-L-D

Finland Form Guide (all competitions): W-W-W-L-D


Ukraine vs Finland Team News

Ukraine

Given how the side performed against France, coach Andriy Shevchenko will not likely tinker with the XI.

But even if Ukraine field a changed lineup, it could just be captain Andriy Pyatov replacing Heorhiy Bushchan between the sticks. Meanwhile, Yevhen Konoplyanka might get a few minutes on the pitch.

Injured: None

Suspended: None

Unavailable: None

Finland

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Finland aren't expected to make wholesale changes either, but Kanerva may call upon Joel Pohjanpalo to add more firepower to the attack. As a result, Robin Lod may be shifted to the right wing.

Injured: None

Suspended: None

Unavailable: None


Ukraine vs Finland Predicted XI

Ukraine (4-4-2): Andriy Pyatov; Oleksandr Karavayev, Illya Zabarnyi, Mykola Matviyenko, Vitaliy Mykolenko; Mykola Shaparenko, Viktor Kovalenko, Serhiy Sydorchuk, Oleksandr Zinchenko; Ruslan Malinovskiy, Roman Yaremchuk.

Finland (5-3-2): Jesse Joronen; Nikolai Alho, Paulus Arajuuri, Joona Toivio, Jukka Raitala, Niko Hamalainen; Robin Lod, Glen Kamara, Joni Kauko; Teemu Pukki, Joel Pohjanpalo.


Ukraine vs Finland Prediction

Even though Ukraine beat Finland on both occasions of their last World Cup qualifiers, it won't be so easy for the home side this time around.

We expect this to result in a low-scoring draw.

Prediction: Ukraine 1-1 Finland

Published 26 Mar 2021, 22:25 IST
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