Our prediction for this match:
After kicking off their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign in style, Switzerland will be looking to give fans yet another reason for celebration when they take on Finland at Kybunpark on Wednesday evening. The Rossocrociati aim to build on back-to-back wins over Bulgaria (3-1) and Lithuania (1-0), and even though head coach Vladimir Petkovic is going to mix the squad, home win should be considered. All Gavranovic, Fernandes, Zakaria, Zuber, and Mehmedi should be recalled to the starting XI.
Finland, on the other hand, shared the spoils with both Bosnia and Ukraine at the start of their World Cup qualifying campaign. The Finns are high on confidence ahead of the trip to St. Gallen, but seeing that key attacker Teemu Pukki is likely to be rested in Wednesday’s friendly, we are tempted to put our money on Switzerland. Finland defender Albin Granlund is likely to miss the game through injury.
Highlighted Player (Xherdan Shaqiri):
Another impressive player who emigrated to Switzerland, Xherdan Shaqiri is a midfielder with excellent technical qualities, very strong in taking players on and creating chances for his teammates, while also being a danger from set pieces. The Serbian-born footballer formed an excellent midfielder pairing with Granit Xhaka at FC Basel, before making a high-profile move to Bayern Munich in the summer of 2012.
Shaqiri went on to prove a great deal of potential at Allianz Arena, scoring 11 goals in 52 Bundesliga matches, but he decided to leave in search of first team football, first joining Inter Milan and then moving to Stoke City. It was at Britannia Stadium that the attacking midfielder rediscovered his form and if he continues playing at such a high level, it won’t be long before he returns to the biggest stage.
Even when he was not playing regularly at club level, Shaqiri would always reserve his best performances for the national team, as witnessed by 17 goals in first 50 caps. The midfielder was especially impressive at the 2014 World Cup finals, where he scored no fewer than three goals.
Highlighted Team (Finland):
Finland national football team played their first international game before the World War 1. The Finns were beaten by fellow Nordic side Sweden (2-5) on October 22, 1911, but eleven years later they recorded their biggest ever win on the international stage.
Finland outclassed Estonia 10-2 in Helsinki and, speaking of their heaviest defeat, the team suffered a 13-0 loss to Germany in Leipzig during the World War II (1940). Finland national team became a member of FIFA back in 1908, but they have yet to qualify for the finals of the major tournament. The Finns did not participate in the European Championship finals as well, but several top-class footballers were part of their national football team in the past.
Former Liverpool ace Jari Litmanen scored 32 goals in 137 appearances for Finland and Sami Hyypia is yet another notable footballer who played for the Eagle-owls. The colour of Finland’s home kits is white, while they play their away games in blue shirts and blue shorts.