Huuhkajat is playing for huge things today at the Olympic Stadium – a significant seam improves the chances for the European Championships

Huuhkajat is playing for huge things today at the Olympic

Huuhkajat will meet Romania at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium on Friday at 21:45. The broadcast on TV2 and Areena starts at 21:00.

Huuhkaji have two important Nations League matches left. For Finland, which won only one of four matches in the summer, the matches are significant both for the next Nations League and the upcoming European Championship qualifiers.

What was the series system and significance of the League of Nations? What are the stakes for Huhkajit matches? In this article, reviews the hottest topics before the Nations League matches.

1. What is the contribution?

In the League of Nations, European countries are divided into four different levels: A, B, C and D leagues.

The Nations League was played for the first time in 2018–19. UEFA’s goal was to have more meaningful national matches and reduce the number of “pointless” friendlies.

In the first season, Finland played in the C-League, where it won its group ahead of Hungary, Greece and Estonia. So Finland moved up to the B-league, and it plays at that level even now.

The first four matches of the current season of the Nations League were played in June. Finland started with a 1–1 draw in their home game against Bosnia-Herzegovina and then beat Montenegro 2–0 at home. However, the away trip went poorly, as Huuhkajat lost 0–1 in Romania and 2–3 in Bosnia.

The remaining matches of the Finnish group

Fri 23.9 at 21:45: Bosnia-Herzegovina – Montenegro
Fri 23.9. at 21.45: Finland – Romania

Mon 26.9. at 21:45: Montenegro – Finland
Mon 26.9. 21:45: Romania – Bosnia-Herzegovina

The last two rounds of the Nations League are now being played. Today, Finland meets Romania at the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki. On Monday, Huuhkajat ends the Nations League as a guest of Montenegro.

Finland has big stakes in matches. A loss to Romania today would be a really bad setback, as Finland could remain jumbo in its group and fall back to the C level.

On the other hand, Finland still has a theoretical chance of winning the group, which would mean joining the absolute top European countries in the A-League.

The head coach Markku Kanerva said that it would be important to get at least enough points for Finland to come second in the group. The second place in the group is important when thinking about the upcoming EC qualifiers and their draw basket distribution.

In October, the groups for the European Championship qualifiers will be drawn, where they will play for places in the 2024 European Championship tournament in Germany.

However, it should be remembered that you can also qualify for the European Championship play-offs through the Nations League. The group winners of the Nations League get into the EC further qualifiers, if a place does not open up from the actual EC qualifier.

If Finland finishes second in its group of the Nations League, it can also open up a place in the EC qualifiers, if one of the group winners of the Nations League advances to the games from the actual EC qualifiers.

The comparisons of the best group runners-up do not include matches against the group runners-up. The background is that due to the absence of Russia, there are only three teams in one group.

So there are several scenarios, but to sum it up, we can say that every win is important for the upcoming EC qualification.

Of course, the main thing for Huuhkaji is to avoid relegation to the C-League, because in that case there would be lower-level matches in the next Nations League.

Did you fall off the wagon? Below is the Huuhkajie’s Twitter account’s summary of what is at stake. If the tweet doesn’t appear, you can watch it from this link (you will go to another service).

2. These are the things the expert expects

Sports expert Pekka Lagerblom does not believe that Finland would slip down to the C-league.

– I see as a positive the way Finland played the home games against Bosnia and Montenegro. If the same game identity and intensity can be found, Finland will still fight for the place of the group winner, Lagerblom is confident.

Of course, the group victory is not in their own hands, because it would require Bosnia-Herzegovina to lose points in their own matches.

Robert Taylor, Robin Lodthe goalkeeper Jesse Joronen and Sauli Väisänen had to miss out on this national team window due to injuries.

Head coach Kanerva invited four first-timers to the team: Arttu Hoskonen, Viljami Sinisalon, by Oliver Antman and Diogo Tomasin.

– It’s great to see that Kanerva has also had reasons in the direction of the U21 team. For example, Antman, who has done great work in Pikkuhuuhkaj and Denmark, has been awarded, says Lagerblom.

Read more: The “future Messi” of Finland, who was also wanted by Barcelona, ​​charmed the sports screen at the age of 8 – here are the Huuhkajie newcomers

Players who have been in the national team for a long time have been left out, but it has opened the door for a couple of young players, as well as Tomas and Hoskosen, who have long been among the best players in the Veikkausliiga.

– It will be interesting to see if they get playing time and what it looks like. What kind of lineup does Huuhkajat start with? Certainly there are certain frames and certain templates for these important games, but who might be the surprising names that the coaching staff wants to see in action?

3. What is the game template after the summer trials?

In June, Finland played four matches in the Nations League at a tight pace, shortly after the end of the European club team seasons.

Partly forced by the pace of the game, partly thinking about the upcoming European Championship project, Kanerva rotated the Finnish lineup a lot in the June matches. Sometimes we saw surprising starting line-ups.

For example, the Finnish defense line was the guest of Bosnia-Herzegovina Ilmari Niskanen, Sauli Väisänen, Richard Jensen, Miro Tenho and Mikael Soisalo. The three most recent of them debuted this year in Huuhkaj.

In the Romanian defeat, the defensive line was, on the other hand, more familiar: Jere Uronen, Leo Vaisänen, Daniel O’Shaughnessy, Robert Ivanov and Nikolai Alho. So a completely different defensive line in two consecutive matches.

Especially the problems at the defensive end spoke volumes in the summer matches. It is interesting what kind of formation and player list Kanerva relies on now that losses can no longer be afforded.

– The big picture is that the games we saw were different football than we are used to seeing during Kanerva’s time. More happened at both ends, Urheilu’s expert Miika Nuutinen stated after the June Games.

Lagerblom doubts that Finland can start today’s home match with four defenders as well. Probably, at least Robert Ivanov’s name has been entered in the starting line-up. Ivanov, who represents the Polish Warta Poznań, made a strong breakthrough in Huuhkaj already in the last World Cup qualifiers.

They will probably start in the midfield Rasmus Schuller and Glen Kamara. Alongside them, Lagerblom hopes to be successful in the Nations League this summer Lucas Lingman.

4. Finland has a gloomy balance against Romania

The history of the Finnish men’s national team against Romania is sad: 13 matches, 4 draws and 9 losses and a goal difference to Romania of 30–5.

In the June match Nicusor Bancu headed Romania’s goal around the half hour mark. Finland wasted scoring chances, especially in the second period. Joel Pohjanpalo had a couple of so-called thousand dollar seats, but the match in Bucharest ended 1–0.

You can watch Romania’s winning goal in the match of the summer below.

– Romania surprised Finland last time with their fast, hard pressing and directness. Now the homework has been done better and Finland’s match plan is certainly better than ever, Lagerblom believes.

According to Lagerblom, the match in Bucharest looked like it was going head-to-head at first. The home team received a penalty kick in the 16th minute of the game, which Jesse Joronen repelled. When Romania then got their lead, they started to pull away and the pace calmed down.

5. England in a tight spot – two losses to Hungary below

There is still plenty to be excited about at other levels of the Nations League, especially in the A-League.

In A-League Group 1, Croatia leads Denmark by one point before the final round of the group. Croatia is still traveling to Austria and Denmark is hosting France, who only took their first win on Thursday.

In the A-League group 2, Spain is at the top with a point difference to Portugal before the last two rounds of matches.

In A-League Group 3, England has tight spots. It is the jumbo of the block before the last two rounds. In the summer, England inexplicably lost twice to Hungary with a total of 0–5. In addition, England played draws with Italy and Germany. Hungary leads the group with a point difference from Germany.

All league tables of the Nations League from this link (Teksti-TV).

Huuhkajat will meet Romania at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium on Friday at 21:45. The broadcast on TV2 and Areena starts at 21:00.

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