Our prediction for this World Cup 2022 match:
A place in the 2022 World Cup playoffs will be at stake when Finland and Ukraine take on each other at Olympiastadion on Saturday afternoon. The Finns aim to bounce back from a 2-0 loss to France, and they are likely to fight tooth and nail against Oleksandr Petrakov’s troops. A man to watch in the home team will be Norwich City attacker Teemu Pukki, while Djurgarden midfielder Rasmus Schuller misses the match through suspension.
The Ukrainians, on the other hand, have drawn each of their five group games. Anyhow, a close encounter is on the cards in Helsinki as the two teams seem to be evenly matched at the moment. The bad news for the visitors is that Man City ace Oleksandr Zinchenko is out of contention through injury. Finland defenders should have West Ham attacker Andriy Yarmolenko at bay.
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 (Ukraine):
After the country had gained independence from the Soviet Union, Ukraine played their first international match in 1992, and they have come a long way since. Zbirna have only once played at the World Cup finals so far, and they did really well to reach the quarter-finals in 2006, while they co-hosted the Euro 2012 with Poland, albeit failing to get past the group stage.
The generation that secured qualification for the Euro 2016 finals in France is arguably the most talented ever, with Yevhen Konoplyanka, Andriy Yarmolenko, Ruslan Rotan and Roman Zozulya the leading players, but plenty more talent present in Mikhail Fomenko’s squad.
Similar to the trademark style of former Soviet teams, Ukraine bases their tactics on rock-solid defence and swift counter-attacks, but it has to be noted that Zbirna possess a lot more technical skills and attacking potential than most other former Russian republics. Everything suggests that the most successful period in the history of the national team is ahead of them.