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Team news, predictions and information regarding the fixture
It’s not been an easy ride for Stephen Kenny so far. Still to manage a win, Kenny’s Ireland record as it stands includes three draws and one loss. Injuries, suspensions and other factors haven’t done any favours for the Ireland manager in what has been a substandard start to his managerial reign. He has shown signs of promise, with impressive performances – despite the results – against both Slovakia and Wales.
Kenny will be hoping he can turn those performances into results by ending his winless run with a win against Finland in Helsinki today. However, it will be no easy challenge as Kenny’s side suffered a 1-0 loss against Finland in what was his first game in charge. Finland also won their previous Nations League match against Bulgaria so their camp will be full of confidence going into today’s game.
Finland find themselves in 2nd on six points while Ireland are 3rd with just two points to their name. Promotion from league B to league A looks unlikely at this stage for the Republic of Ireland, but good results in their final three group games would mean not getting dragged into a relegation battle. Finland are still very much in the promotion picture. A win against the Finns could be the catalyst Ireland need to finish off the Nations League campaign early.
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) OCTOBER 13, 2020
Both teams play a similar style of football, pressing high up the pitch and playing high tempo passing football so it should be an entertaining watch, for the neutral at least.
Here is all the information you need to know about today’s fixture:
Ireland are going into this match with an entirely different squad than what was announced initially. Between injuries and illness, Ireland can count themselves unlucky to be in the position they currently find themselves in. Several key players are missing from the squad – including Seamus Coleman, David McGoldrick and John Egan. Kenny was however handed a significant boost earlier this week as Adam Idah and Aaron Connolly were both passed fit to play, having been previously unavailable due to coronavirus concerns.
Ireland may need to rely on some of their young talent, something which Kenny’s predecessors have often failed to do. The average age of the Ireland squad available for selection is 25.5 years. This is much younger than it has been in the past. Irish fans will be hoping youth trumps experience as just four players in the squad have upwards of twenty caps.
Suspensions: James McClean
Injuries: James McCarthy + another unnamed player (covid-19)
Finland, unlike Ireland, should have a full squad available. There are no significant injuries or suspensions within the Finland camp, meaning they’ll be at full strength come this evening.
Daniel O’Shaughnessy will be hoping to start against his ancestral homeland for the second time, having previously played Ireland earlier in the Nations League campaign. His father hails from Galway given his Irish sounding name but he’s a proud Finn, having represented his country from u15 level onwards. Another player Ireland will have to keep an eye on is Teemu Pukki, who will likely start up top for Finland.
Finland vs. Ireland Prediction
Like the first encounter between the two nations, this will likely be a hard-fought affair. Finland will probably fancy their chances given the outcome of the previous game but Ireland will be no pushovers, they’ll be desperate to turn their fortunes around after a miserable campaign so far.
Finland are in better form than Ireland having won four of their last six competitive game – including a 1-0 victory over the aforementioned opponents – but Kenny appears to be finding his feet with performances improving game by game. There have been considerable improvements made since the first meeting between the two sides and Irish fans will be hoping for a much better performance than last time.
Our prediction for the game is:
Ireland 1 – 0 Finland
For those looking for further information:
Where is the match being played?
The match is being played in Finland’s home ground, the Helsinki Olympic stadium. This will be the Republic of Ireland’s third time visiting the stadium, having previously played there in 1949 and 2002.
When is the match being played?
It is being played on the 14th of October. The match will kick off at 5 p.m. Irish standard time.
Is it being televised?
Sky Sports Main Event & Sky Sports Football will have coverage of the event. The match will not be free to air on Irish television. Virgin Media Two will have highlights of the match at 10 p.m. with full coverage of the match to follow at 11 p.m.
Viewers in the United States can also catch the game on ESPN+.
Where can the match be streamed?
Viewers can also stream the match through NOW TV’s Sky Sports Pass. The service can be purchased for one day for €11 or customers can purchase a month pass for €37.