Author: Lewis Sharpe
Wales host Finland in a battle for promotion in the UEFA Nations League tomorrow night.
Either a win or a draw would give Wales promotion into League A of the Nations League. A win for Finland would grant them access to League A and Wales would remain in League B.
A win for either side would increase their chances of a play-off for qualification in the 2022 World Cup.
Topping the group would also bring financial benefit to the winners. It’s reported top spot would receive a £3m pay-out.
Following Wales’ 1-0 victory against the Republic of Ireland on Sunday night, the side currently sit top of Group B4 on 13 points.
Second place Finland were also victorious in their last match meaning they stand on 12 points, just one behind Wales.
Wales remain unbeaten in the campaign, having only dropped points in Dublin, and are the only team yet to concede a goal in the competition.
The home side have played over 700 minutes of competitive football without being scored against and have been beaten only once – in a friendly against England – in their last 13 games.
The visitors have won all of their last six games following a defeat to Wales in September. The run includes a 2-0 victory over World Cup winners France and a 5-1 win over Poland.
Talisman Gareth Bale has contributed to 13 goals in his last 13 games at the Cardiff City Stadium for Wales, scoring nine and assisting four.
Finland’s danger man is Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki. The 30-year-old scored his 26th for his country in their 2-1 win over Bulgaria on Sunday.
Despite two positive coronavirus test results coming from Ireland’s camp on Monday, Wales have continued in their preparation for the midweek fixture,.
Consistent Tottenham Hotspur left-back Ben Davies will miss the fixture after picking up a yellow card last time out. This means current manager Rob Page will likely choose two of Connor Roberts, Neco Williams, Chris Gunter and Rhys Norrington-Davies as full-backs.
Finland are likely to be without Bundesliga striker Joel Pohjanpalo who hobbled off injured in the first half against Bulgaria. Brentford striker Marcus Forss, who replaced Pohjanpalo, is a likely candidate as a replacement.
David Bowden – Cardiff, Wales 6 months, 3 weeks ago
Great save from the Finnish keeper!! Should Bale have done better though? He literally put it straight at the keeper and from that distance, should’ve gone straight in! However, Harry Wilson’s goal recovered the game for us!! Happy days!!