- Best Euros
- Tournament debut
- 2016 Euros
- Did not qualify
Finland's Euro Schedule
|12th June 5pm||Denmark v Finland||Copenhagen|
|16th June 2pm||Finland v Russia||St Petersburg|
|21st June 8pm||Finland v Belgium||St Petersburg|
Road to the Euros
Finland will consider themselves winners before a ball is even kicked this summer, after becoming the first Finnish team to qualify for the tournament. As expected, Italy topped the group, and after that it was widely expected that Greece and Bosnia would compete for second place, but Finland beat them both at home. They did lose the return fixtures, but it didn’t matter. Whilst Italy were taking maximum points and everyone was beating everyone else, Finland made sure they took maximum points from strugglers Armenia and Liechtenstein. They secured qualification on matchday nine when they beat Liechtenstein 3-0 whilst Bosnia were losing 3-0 in Rome.
Finland weren’t necessarily fantastic in qualifying, but they were very efficient at winning key games. Home form was always going to be important and so was beating the weaker sides. Since then they’ve put together a Nations League campaign that they can be relatively pleased with. They were quite comfortable in taking maximum points from the Republic of Ireland and Bulgaria and they can consider themselves unlucky that small margins cost them against Wales. There is no doubt that their best result was a 2-0 win away to a strong France side, but their pre-tournament preparations have seen them go winless in three games. including a 1-0 home loss to Estonia.
Whilst Finland can’t be written off, there is a reason they’re such rank outsiders. Their squad is almost exclusively made up of players from outside of Europe's top five leagues. They ply their trade in Cyprus, Poland, Belgium, Scotland, Holland and the United States to name just a few. Despite that, they’re a well organised collective that conceded few goals in qualifying and in their nations league campaign. And despite their minnow status, there are a handful of stars with Bundesliga and Premier League experience that will be heavily relied upon..
Lukas Hradecky is one of the top goalkeepers at the tournament and he will undoubtedly be called upon frequently. He more than played his part in keeping 22 clean sheets for club and country since the start of 2022. He’s been linked with some of Europe’s top clubs, including Arsenal and Dortmund, thanks to his stop stopping prowess. The other very obvious key to success for Finland is getting Teemu Pukki on the ball in front of goal. This season's goalscoring exploits take his tally at Championship level to 55 goals, but don’t forget he also managed 11 goals and 2 assists in a very poor team in the Premier League. He remains Finland’s chief goal threat, netting 15 times since the turn of 2019, but he’ll need to be especially clinical if he gets a chance.
Click below to read more about each of Finland's Group B opponents: