EUROPE, World Cup – Qualification
Date: Sunday, 28 March 2021
Kick-off at 19:45 UK/ 20:45 CET
Venue: NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium (Kiev)
Ukarine boost their chances of qualifying for the next edition of the FIFA World Cup when they hosted France and got a draw in their last match. Now they will be hoping to build on that positive start to the campaign as Finland come visiting.
The visitors had also played out a 2-2 draw with Bosnia-Herzegovina in their opening Group D match. Markku Kanerva’s side have lost just one of their last six matches – 3-1 to Wales in a showdown for Nations League promotion in November – and they went one better than Ukraine by winning away at France towards the end of last year, albeit in a friendly.
Finland would realize that the best chance they have to get to the World Cup finals this term is to ensure that they get the much needed results against Ukraine and Bosnia as France will prove to be the untouchable team in the group. However, they will also be cautious that they have lost their previous two encounters with Ukraine ahead of this latest tie, going down 1-0 and 2-1 in the last World Cup qualifying campaign.
Ukraine, already without Ihor Kharatin and Viktor Korniienko, have also lost Taras Stepanenko, Artem Besedin and Viktor Tsygankov to injury. It will be expected that the attack will be speareheaded by Ruslan Malinovskiy who has been in great form for Atalanta in the Serie A, alongside Oleksandr Zubkov and Roman Yaremchuk
Finland will be relieved that they have no known injury concerns as they go into this tie, while Tim Sparv is expected to start for the visitors.
- Ukraine’s form in last 5 matches: DLLLW.
- Finland’s form in last 5 matches: DLWWW.
PREDICTION: Draw/Away and Under 4.5