Finland vs Belgium takes place on June 21 at the Krestovsky Stadium in St Petersburg with Belgium already assured of qualification to the group stages. They face a Finland side who will qualify for the next round with a win and for whom a draw might be enough. Read on for more analysis, match predictions and betting tips.
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Finland were beaten 1-0 by Russia in a tight game in this stadium on Wednesday and now face a tricky path to get to the round of 16. A win would assure them of qualification, while a draw would be enough if Denmark beat Russia in the other group fixture. However, the win over Denmark is Finland’s only win this calendar year and Markku Kanerva’s team have only scored six goals in seven games in 2021.
Belgium showed their class in their game against Denmark on Wednesday. Trailing 1-0 to a Denmark team determined to turn up for their hospitalised team mate Christian Eriksen, the introduction of Kevin de Bruyne at the start of the second half changed things around dramatically and the Red Devils turned the game around to win 2-1. Roberto Martinez’ team have only lost twice since losing to France in the World Cup 2018 semi-final; it’s difficult to see them taking their foot off the gas now.
Finland are yet to suffer any injuries in this tournament so far, and coach Markku Kanerva should have a full squad to choose from. Joel Pohjanpalo has been one of the highlights for them so far this tournament; only VAR denied him adding a second goal to his Euro2020 tally as he was marginally offside when he headed home from Jukka Raitala’s cross against Russia.
Although they have lost Timothy Castagne for the remainder of the tournament, the return of Kevin de Bruyne and Axel Witsel from the subs bench in the 2-1 win over Denmark has helped to ease injury worries that Roberto Martinez might have had. With qualification assured it’s possible Martinez will rotate a little bit to help keep his squad fresh for the knockout phase; skipper Eden Hazard could return to the starting line up after playing half an hour against Denmark.
Belgium are very short favourites to win this game, with the bookies offering only 1.30 against a Red Devils win in this game and Finland as high as 13.00 with some bookies to emerge victorious. The over/under goals and BTTS markets suggest the bookies are expecting Belgium to win without Finland scoring; so the value betting tips might well be in the handicap market. As much as the pressure is off Belgium, we expect Martinez to demand a result from his team and we think Belgium -2 at 3.50 could be a value bet.