Key Players, Road to Finals, Prediction and more

Finland are back at Euros after a nine-year absence, having missed the tournament in the Netherlands five years earlier.

They qualified for this summer’s championships almost flawlessly, but were given a considerable task to reach the knockout stages as they were drawn into the death group.

Here’s everything you need to know about Finland ahead of Euro 2022.

Finland qualified for Euro 2022 with a near-perfect record, winning seven, drawing once and conceding just two goals over their eight games to top their group ahead of Portugal.

Late goals and narrow wins were a common theme in Finland’s qualifying campaign. a 1-1 draw with Portugal thanks to a 90th-minute equaliser, a 1-0 win against Scotland thanks to a 95th-minute winner and a 93rd-minute win in a 1-0 win over Portugal.

Finland only competed in a major tournament in 2005 but have since qualified for four of the last five European Championships.

Euro 1984: Didn’t qualify
Euro 1987: Didn’t qualify
Euro 1989: Didn’t qualify
Euro 1991: Didn’t qualify
Euro 1993: Didn’t qualify
Euro 1995: Didn’t qualify
Euro 1997: Didn’t qualify
Euro 2001: Didn’t qualify
Euro 2005: semifinals
Euro 2009: quarter finals
Euro 2013: group stage
Euro 2017: Didn’t qualify

Finland have never qualified for the World Cup but are currently battling with the Republic of Ireland for a place in the playoffs ahead of the 2023 tournament.

World Cup 1991: Didn’t qualify
World Cup 1995: Didn’t qualify
World Cup 1999: Didn’t qualify
World Cup 2003: Didn’t qualify
World Cup 2007: Didn’t qualify
World Cup 2011: Didn’t qualify
World Cup 2015: Didn’t qualify
World Cup 2019: Didn’t qualify

Natalia Kuikka is a three-time Finnish Player of the Year and will be key to her country’s chances this summer. The versatile defenseman plays her club football Portland Thorns – her second stop in the United States after playing college football at Florida State.

The 26-year-old plays as a full-back in the NWSL, but plays more as a center-back for her country. A solid defensive record was key to Finland qualifying for Euro 2022, with Kuikka playing a big part in that.

Emma Koivisto is one to watch for Finland – and a familiar face for WSL fans who have spent the past 18 months at Brighton. Bubbling with energy, the 27-year-old can play in midfield and full-back and is expected to play at left-back for Finland this summer.

The woman on Finland’s hot seat is a familiar face for British women’s football fans; Finland are managed by Anna Signulwho spent 12 years as Scotland coach between 2005 and 2017, leading the team to their first major tournament at the 2017 European Championships.

The 61-year-old played and coached at Damallsvenskan in her native Sweden for over 20 years for various teams – including two positions as player-coach – before moving into national team management in 1996, first with Sweden youth teams and then with Scotland. She has been in charge of Finland since 2017, her contract with the national team expires this year.

At the first official European Women’s Championship in 1984, the games consisted of two 35-minute halves. Had this law still been in place for Euro 2022 qualifying, Finland would have scored 10 fewer goals and accumulated five fewer points.

Spain vs Finland

Appointment time: Friday, July 8th 17:00 (CET)
Venue: Brentford Community Stadium
How to watch TV: BBC Two (UK)

Denmark vs Finland

Appointment time: Tuesday, July 12 at 5:00 p.m. (BST)
Venue: Stadium MK
How to watch TV: BBC Two (UK)

Finland vs Germany

Appointment time: Saturday 16 July 20:00 (BST)
Venue: Stadium MK
As seen on TV: BBC Two (UK)

Finland face Group A opponents should they qualify for the knockout stages – probably Norway or England.

Lead the group of deaths and get past the quarterfinals and Group D winner or Group C runners-up awaits in the semifinals – likely France, Sweden or the Netherlands. Finish second in the group and reach the semi-finals and the Group C winner will be your most likely opponent – again probably Sweden or the Netherlands.

Goalkeeper: Katrina Talaslahti (Fleury 91), Anna Tamminen (Hammarby), Tinja-Riikka Korpela (Tottenham Hotspur).

Defender: Defenders: Elli Pikkujamsa (KIF Orebro), Tuija Hyyrynen (Juventus), Emma Koivisto (Free Agent), Anna Auvinen (Sampdoria), Nora Heroum (Lazio), Natalia Kuikka (Portland Thorns), Anna Westerlund (Aland United).

Midfield player: Ria Oling (Rosengard), Olga Ahtinen (Linköping), Emmi Alanen (Kristiandstad), Essi Sainio (HJK) Evelina Summanen (Tottenham Hotspur).

Forward: Adelina Engman (Hammarby), Sanni Franssi (Real Sociedad), Juliette Kemppi (IFK Kalmar), Amanda Rantanen (KIF Orebro), Jutta Rantala (Vittsjo GIK), Jenny Danielsson (Al), Heidi Kollanen (KIF Orebro), Linda Sallstrom ( Vittsjo GIK).

Finland received the worst lot of all, with Spain, Germany and Denmark all supporting their group.

In any other group, reaching the quarter-finals would be an achievable goal for Finland, but given the sheer quality of the teams they will face it seems too big a challenge.

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