FIFA World Cup 2022 – European Qualifiers – Ukraine vs Finland Preview & Prediction
Both Finland and Ukraine began their Group D campaigns with draws. Whilst Finland will have been disappointed to have been held 2-2 by Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ukraine will have been delighted after securing a priceless 1-1 draw away at World Champions France in Paris. Such a result will have given them a huge injection of belief that they can challenge for top spot in the group and that all-important automatic qualification spot for the 2022 World Cup. A close encounter is expected here, with both sides knowing how important a three-point swing would prove even at this early stage and each not wanting to give an inch in the race for top spot. With that being said, plenty of goalmouth action is expected with Finland’s last three competitive fixtures seeing both teams finding the net and over 2.5 goals scored. Two of Ukraine’s last three games have also seen both teams score, so regardless of who comes out on top here, that looks the smart play in this encounter.
Ukraine will be looking to build on its impressive draw away in France last week when they continue their World Cup qualifying campaign at home against Finland on Sunday.
The 1-1 result against the World Cup holders at the Stade De France in Group D came only five months after Ukraine were battered 7-1 in Paris in a friendly.The kick-off in Lviv is at 2:45pm ET. And with these two teams likely to be battling for second place in the final table behind France, this is already a significant game early in the qualifying competition.
Andriy Shevchenko’s Ukraine side ended a run of three straight defeats with the draw in Paris which, naturally enough, they celebrated like a win – even though it came courtesy of an own goal.
Paris St. Germain defender Presnel Kimpembe deflected a shot from Sergiy Sydorchuk into his own net in the 57th minute – with Ukraine holding out for a point.
Yet Finland is in decent form and has lost just once in its last six matches while also having qualified for Euro 2020.
Initially, Barcelona star Antoine Griezmann put dominant France ahead in Paris after 19 minutes.But then Paris St. Germain defender Presnel Kimpembe deflected a shot from Sergiy Sydorchuk into his own net in the 57th minute – with Ukraine holding out for a point.
Similarly, Ukraine had shown it can upset the big nations when they beat Spain 1-0 in a UEFA Nations League tie at home last October.