Soccer UEFA Euro Qualification - Group Stage
Finland vs Slovenia - Match Preview
⚽ 16 June 2023 - 16:00 GMT +0
A sell-out crowd at Helsinki’s Olympic Stadium will cheer on Finland as they aim to topple Group H leaders Slovenia on matchday three of this UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying campaign. After a mixed start (W1, L1) in their opening two away matches in March, Markku Kanerva’s side will crucially play both games at home this month. This seemingly offers a great chance for Finland to build momentum as they bid to replicate the heroics of the previous campaign that ended in a first-ever major tournament qualification.
That campaign’s success was based on their strong home form, securing an impressive four wins from five (L1) with each being accompanied by a clean sheet. That’s worth noting considering that the Eagle-Owls are unbeaten in the two previous H2Hs (W1, D1) with the sole victory coming at a home venue and ‘to nil’.
Looking to rub shoulders with the European elite in the competition proper for the first time since 2000, Slovenia has made an encouraging start to this qualification campaign with consecutive wins. Those results extended their overall unbeaten run to eight matches (W5, D3) and another victory here will make it a national record of five straight wins, whilst also equaling their longest-ever unbeaten run.
Despite this, coach Matjaž Kek knows his side has struggled on the road in this competition recently. Only three wins across their last ten away Euro qualifiers (D1, L6) suggests Slovenia might not be a shoo-in for securing consecutive away Euro qualifying victories for the first time in just over 24 years.
📋 Players to watch: After assisting both their goals in this qualification campaign, Finland’s Teemu Pukki has been in the thick of the action in his last 11 Euro qualifier appearances (G10, A4). Ahead of his summer move to RB Leipzig, young forward Benjamin Šeško will hope to continue his own impressive run of seven-goal involvements from his last seven games for Slovenia (G5, A2).
⚡ Hot stat: Nine of Slovenia’s last ten Euro qualifying matches have seen the team scoring first go on to win (L1).
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