Our prediction for this Nations League match:
Wednesday’s football game at Olympiastadion in Helsinki pits together Finland and Republic of Ireland. The Finns aim to build on a 2-0 win over Bulgaria, and a triumph over Ireland will see them keep their promotion hopes alive. Experienced attacker Teemu Pukki, who provided an assist for Robert Taylor at the weekend, will be the man to watch in the home team. The Boys in Green, on the other hand, head into the match following a goalless draw with Wales.
Ireland are eyeing their fourth clean sheet in all competitions, but we do not believe that they are capable of preventing Finland attackers from scoring in Helsinki. The hosts want this win more than the visitors, and we predict that they are going to pick up all three points from the match. James McClean is banned for the visiting team, which is yet another reason why home win should be considered.
Highlighted Player (Niklas Moisander):
Despite playing for Ajax during his youth career, Niklas Moisander began started playing for Finnish side TPS at senior level. However, after making 17 league appearances for the club in the 2002/2003 season, he returned to Ajax on 5 June, 2003. Moisander played for Jong Ajax in Beloften Eredivisie and in 2006 he joined Zwolle.
The Finnish defender signed for fellow Eredivisie side AZ Alkmaar in 2008 and he spent four years at the club. In 2012 he returned to Ajax and he started playing for the Amsterdam Arena outfit on regular basis. After making 77 league appearances for Ajax between 2012 and 2015, he joined Sampdoria on March 2015 on a free transfer.
Moisander signed a three-year deal with the club and he played 22 league games for La Samp in the 2015/2016 Serie A campaign. At the end of the season he moved to Werder Bremen. The former Ajax footballer was born on 29 September, 1985 in Turku, Finland.
Highlighted Team (Ireland):
Competing as an independent entity since 1953, Republic of Ireland have struggled to match the world’s best national teams ever since, although they did achieve several respectable results on the road. Their best ever result, the 1990 World Cup quarter-final, was achieved with a big smile from Lady Luck seeing that the Irish reached the last eight without winning a single match.
They have since reached the last 16 stage at the 1994 and 2002 tournaments, while only qualifying for three European Championship finals (1988, 2012, 2016). The Irish were in the top 10 of the FIFA Rankings in 1993 and 1994, but have failed to repeat the success in the next twenty odd years, and it appears they are no closer to bridging the gap behind European powerhouses.
Robbie Keane holds the record for most national team caps and goals at the same time, having bagged 67 in 143 appearances, whereas Niall Quinn, Steve Staunton, Damien Duff, Tony Cascarino and Don Givens are some of the other star players.