9 September 2019
Two nations that have been flourishing the last few months go head-to-head at the Ratina Stadion as Finland take on Italy for their UEFA European Championship qualifying (ECQ) encounter.
Group G toppers have won all five of their ECQ games this campaign, netting 2+ match goals in each while allowing just two goals in the process. Notably, Gli Azzurri have scored three goals per match in both of their ECQ trips to Greece and Armenia, conceding only one across those fixtures. The Italians are now unbeaten in their last nine games, friendlies included (W7, D2), with none of those matches seeing them concede more than one goal. Also, Italy has beaten Finland 2-0 in the reversed fixture, stretching their unbeaten run in qualifying H2Hs to nine games (W8, D1). Interestingly, four of their last five H2Hs have ended with the same 2-0 scoreline in Italy’s favor, with the remaining one finishing 1-0 against Finland’s favor also.
Meanwhile, the visitors have started their ECQ adventure off on the wrong foot, having lost to Italy on the road, but they’ve managed to rise ever since. The Eagle-owls have secured four straight ECQ victories, all of which have been accompanied by a clean sheet. Notably, three of those triumphs have ended with the identical 2-0 scoreline, with Finland leading 1-0 at the break twice in the process. What’s more, Markku Kanerva’s men are unbeaten in their previous seven competitive home games (W6, D1), with the majority of those wins (4) ending with the same 1-0 scoreline. However, they are now looking to bring a four-game losing home run against Italy to a halt and also score their first-ever home goal against the European giants.
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