Our prediction for this Euro 2020 match:
Ratinan Stadion will host Sunday’s Euro 2020 qualifier between Finland and Italy, the two teams who sit in top two positions in Group J at the moment. The Finns have been playing above expectations in the European Championship qualifiers, with Norwich City attacker Teemu Pukki establishing himself as the team’s leader.
Markku Kanerva’s men are on a four-game winning run in Group J and seeing that Italy would be happy with one point from Sunday’s football match, we predict that the hosts are going to hold the Azzurri to a draw in Tampere. The Italians, on the other hand, came from behind to beat ten-man Armenia on Thursday evening, but beating the high-flying Finns at Ratinan Stadion is easier said than done. A close encounter is on the cards in the Group J derby, therefore, we are going to put our money on draw.
Highlighted Player (Roman Eremenko):
Roman Eremenko is an experienced midfielder who adds valuable quality to CSKA Moscow’s play with his passing skills, great vision and knack for goal.
The 29-year-old Russian-born Finland international has so far played for the likes of Udinese, Siena, Rubin Kazan, but he is best remembered for his spell at Ukraine giants Dynamo Kyiv where he became captain helping the club win Ukrainian Premier League in 2009, and played in the Champions and Europa Leagues. He moved to CSKA Moscov in 2014 and has so far made over 50 Russian Premier League appearances during two seasons for the Army Men.
His impact with the Russian giants was immediate with Eremenko picking up several monthly awards for the Best Player in the league, while he was named the Russian Football Premier League MVP of the 2014-15 season.
Highlighted Team (Italy):
With four World Cup titles and one European Championship trophy, Italy remain one of world’s most successful teams and they have also finished as runners up at major tournaments on four occasions. The Azzurri have become famous for their result oriented football over the years which is perfectly suited for World Cup and Euro finals, so it is now a surprise when they fail to reach the final stages.
After winning the second and third edition of the World Cup, Italy endured a difficult period until lifting their first European Championship title in 1968, while they also managed to show some improvement at the turn of the century. While winning the 2006 World Cup in Germany, the Azzurri reached Euro finals in 2000 and 2012, and they are still regarded as one of the leading sides in Europe.
There have been too many high-profile players leaving their mark on the national team to count, but the likes of Paolo Maldini, Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro, Dino Zoff, Roberto Baggio, Luigi Riva and Alessandro Del Piero will go down as some of the most successful ones.