Finland announced their final 26 men squad earlier this month. The upcoming Euros will be their first-ever major international tournament. They are the second debutants in the Euros this year alongside North Macedonia.
Finland UEFA Euro 2020 Squad :
Goalkeepers: Lukas Hradecky (Leverkusen), Jesse Joronen (Brescia), Anssi Jaakkola (Bristol Rovers)
Defenders: Paulus Arajuuri (Pafos), Daniel O’Shaugnessy (HJK Helsinki), Joona Toivio (Häcken), Leo Väisänen (Elfsborg), Sauli Väisänen (Chievo), Robert Ivanov (Warta Poznań), Jere Uronen (Genk), Nikolai Alho (MTK Budapest), Jukka Raitala (Minnesota United), Pyry Soiri (Esbjerg)
Midfielders: Glen Kamara (Rangers), Robert Taylor (Brann), Robin Lod (Minnesota United), Joni Kauko (Esbjerg), Onni Valakari (Pafos), Rasmus Schüller (Djurgården), Thomas Lam (Zwolle), Tim Sparv (Larissa), Fredrik Jensen (Augsburg), Lassi Lappalainen (Montréal)
Forwards: Joel Pohjanpalo (Union Berlin), Marcus Forss (Brentford), Teemu Pukki (Norwich)
Key Player: Teemu Pukki
Just two goals behind from becoming the all time top goalscorer for Finland, Teemu Pukki is a source of inspiration for his nation. The striker scored
10 goals in the qualification round to singlehandedly spearhead Finland to the first-ever European Championship. He made amends at club level for Norwich City as the Canaries return to the Premier League soon after relegation the previous year. Pukki has an incredible scoring output even at the age of 31. Chasing Finland's best player Jari Litmanen, Pukki will be enraged to do positives in this Euros and make or break the record for personal and nation's joy. His goals at critical moments can prove to be the decisive factor for Finland to sow seeds of miracles.
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Strength & Weakness
The strength of Finland is obviously Pukki upfront. His goals create stories. Pukki's precision in pivotal games is another drive needed for the newcomers. Other than that Finland operates in a flexible 5-3-2 system that can easily transform into a 3-5-2 formation or change to a 4-4-2 according to oppositions and state of play. Finland often plays on the counter but can also use their wing system well. Augsburg's Fredik Jansen can also link up well with Pukki upfront. Rangers Glen Kamara went invincible with the club in the Scottish Championship constructing a fancy midfield. Kamara's box-to-box playing ability, physicality and ball progress have already made him a transfer target for top clubs in Europe.
Finland resembles a team of promise in cultivating a memorable outing in their first major competition. However, they are prone to certain weaknesses that will put them on the backfoot. There is no goalscorer in the side aside from Pukki. Jensen is the next top scorer on the side but he is not an out-and-out striker. In a tournament like Euros, only one credible goal source without any assistance from other areas of the pitch is too much of an ask. This is a problem. Also, Finland's latest form of moving into the Euros has been poor. They lost to lowly-ranked Estonia after successive defeats to Sweden and Switzerland in pre-tournament friendlies scheduled for them.
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That being said, counter-attacking is a major weapon in their warship. They sprang an upset against France last year although it was a friendly against a second-string side. Games like this will serve as real motivation in the tournament. There is no pressure or objective for Finland to reach at the Euros but they can at least hope for a good collective effort in the tournament. If they manage to score goals other than Pukki, they can dream about success and it will charge up their spirits. In all, Finland will play their first major tournament fearlessly and have nothing to lose.
To check regular updates stay tuned to Euro 2020