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Finland v Russia Tips: Goals could be on the cards in St Petersburg

Finland v Russia Tips: Dzyuba features
Finland v Russia Tips: Dzyuba features

As far as Euro 2020 games go, this one looks an almost impossible fixture to predict. It pits Russia- who were sub par in their opener against Belgium- against Finland- who’s 1-0 victory over Denmark was overshadowed by the circumstances that unfolded in the first half. Equally perplexing is the fact that despite this fixture taking place at the Krestovsky Stadium, which is in Saint Petersburg Russia, Finland are the home side. Nevertheless, I am going to try and unpick this pivotal clash in Group B.

It looks a must win for the ‘visitors’ following their opening game 3-0 defeat at the hands of the world's top seeded side and the bookmakers certainly fancy them to do the deed. Our Guys are priced around 8/13 which translates to a 62% chance of victory. 

In terms of team news, their supremo, Stanislav Cherchesov, may ring the changes. Veteran Yuri Zhirkov started against the Red Devils but will miss the remainder of the tournament with a thigh injury. Elsewhere, Andrey Mostovoy misses out with COVID and Daler Kuzyaev is an injury doubt which should mean they revert back to the more commonly deployed three man defence.

As for the Eagle-owls, they boast a clean bill of health with no absentees. Apologetic goalscorer Joel Phjanpalo should keep his place alongside Teemu Pukki in attack who dispelled any fitness concerns by playing the majority of the first game. 

Finland v Russia Tips

Today's football tips

Finland v Russia Odds

Both teams to score
Odds correct as of 2021-06-16 08:45 Odds subject to change.

At odds against, I like the look of both teams to score here. It is difficult to draw many concrete conclusions from Russia’s opener with Belgium, however, it was very apparent that they did not threaten Roberto Martínez’s ageing back line.

Russia struggled to create any clear cut chances and this is best illustrated by the fact that they only accumulated an xG of 0.34 and registered one shot on target. Yet it was a game of cat and mouse and with the shoe now on the other foot Cherchesov will have to take the game to Finland and this should see an increase in offensive output. It is also worth noting that prior to the Belgium game, Russia had scored in 80% of their previous games.

As for Markku Kanerva’s side, they proved clinically efficient against Denmark as, despite only generating an xG of 0.41, they edged past the Danes by a goal to nil. Like for Russia in their opener, chances were few and far between but with Teemu Pukki upfront- who bagged 26 goals last season domestically- there may only need a sniff of their opposition's goal to make them pay.

Finland v Russia Odds
Artem Dyzuba to score anytime
Odds correct as of 2021-06-16 08:45 Odds subject to change.

Sticking along similar lines, I also like the look of Artem Dzyuba in the goalscorer market as he is odds against to find the net anytime.

His last seven international starts in competitive fixtures has yielded five goals as he has scored just under 40% of his nations goals over that period. At the 2018 World Cup, his three goals helped thrust his nation to the quarter-finals. He should also be on penalty duty once again.

On a more personal note, Zenit St Petersburg's striker currently sits one goal behind Russians all time leading goalscorer Aleksandr Kerzhakov’s tally of 30 goals. Therefore, he should be extra motivativated to find the net as he chases this personal accolade.

BTTS in both halves
Odds correct as of 2021-06-16 08:50 Odds subject to change.

As a longshot for a bit of fun I think both teams to score in both halves could be worth a small punt.

As previously alluded to, Russia needs to win this match which should see them commit plenty of bodies forward and thus provide Finland with a lot of space to exploit on the counter attack. With the razor sharp Pukki spearheading the hosts frontline, the Nordic nation could capitalise on Russia’s gung ho approach. Therefore, BTTS in both halves is a fun way in at a tasty price.

Best of luck if you are joining me in backing any of these selections and please remember to gamble responsibly. 

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