Finland vs. Romania – prediction, team news, lineups



Finland are currently third in the section, having collected four points from their opening four matches, while Romania are fourth, one point behind their opponents heading into this contest.

Match preview

Finland coach Markku Kanerva on May 29, 2021© Reuters

Finland finished second in League B Group 4 during the 2020-21 campaign, which kept them in League B, but they are facing the possibility of relegation to League C depending on what happens this month.

The Eagle-owls, who have never qualified for the finals of a World Cup, are currently third in their Nations League section, having picked up just four points from their opening four games.

Finland are only one point ahead of Romania, meaning that a defeat on Friday would leave them vulnerable ahead of their final game in the section against Montenegro on September 26.

Markku Kanerva‘s side picked up four points from their first two games against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro, but they have lost their last two against Romania and Bosnia respectively.

Finland have also lost six of their last seven games against Romania, including a 1-0 defeat in the reverse fixture back in June, but they will be hoping that home advantage counts for something on Friday night.

Montenegro's Sead Haksabanovic in action with Romania's Iulian Cristea on June 4, 2022© Reuters

Romania are currently at the foot of the group with just three points from four matches, meaning that a defeat on Friday would see them relegated to League C with one game left to play.

The Tricolours are bidding to make it back-to-back campaigns in League B, having earned promotion from League C at the end of the 2018-19 season.

Romania actually qualified for three World Cups between 1990 and 1998, but they have not been involved in the finals of the competition since and will not be present at the 2022 edition.

Edward Iordanescu‘s side started their current Nations League campaign with back-to-back defeats to Montenegro and Bosnia before recording a 1-0 victory over Finland on June 11.

Romania will enter this game off the back of a comprehensive defeat, though, having lost 3-0 at home to Montenegro on June 14, with Stefan Mugosa scoring a hat trick for the visitors.

Team News

Finland's Teemu Pukki celebrates scoring their second goal March 24, 2021© Reuters

Finland will once again have Teemu Pukki at the tip of their attack, with the 32-year-old bidding to add to the 36 goals that he has managed for his national side.

Pukki is set to be joined in the final third by Benjamin Kallman, while an experienced side should also include captain Lukas Hradecky and vice-captain Rasmus Schuller.

Glen Kamara of Rangers is also set for a midfield role, while Lucas Lingman could keep hold of his starting role from the defeat to Bosnia last time out.

As for Romania, Genoa forward George Puscas is set to lead the line, while Denis Alibec and Florin Tanase could also feature in the final third of the field.

There are three uncapped goalkeepers in the squad, and Ionut Radu is believed to be winning the battle to start Friday’s contest.

Vlad Chiriches will captain the visitors from a defensive position, while there should be spots in midfield for Nicolae StanciuRazvan Marin and Marius Marin.

Finland possible starting lineup:
Hradecky; Uronen, Vaisanen, Tenho, Jensen, Niskanen; Lingman, Kamara, Schuller; Kallman, Pukki

Romania possible starting lineup:
Radu; Manea, Chiriches, Burca, Bancu; R Marin, M Marin, Stanciu; Alibec, Puscas, Tanase

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