The Greeks just can't finish
Finland will take on Greece at the Olympic Stadium in Athens at 7.45 pm on Thursday in the UEFA Nations League. This is a game between two teams that are defensively balanced, who don't concede many goals and don't score many. This game will likely be a defensive, unexciting match in which the first goal wins.
The Greeks may have begun as favourites to win the group, but after four rounds this looks highly unlikely. They've picked up six points in four matches with two wins and two draws so far. The Greeks style of play has been boring to watch, with an emphasis on defending and little attacking flair; there is also a distinct lack of quality in their squad. The back line with Manolas and Sokratis are clearly the strongest link in the squad, but with no real quality attackers Greece have come to rely on keeping a clean sheet instead of scoring goals. It is Kostas Mitroglu who is supposed to provide the goals but in their last game, which was also against Finland, Greece did not register one shot. It was evidence that they lack a finisher, and if they're going to win this return leg, I can only see it being a 1-0 win. Of the last four games they've played so far in the Nations League, three have finished with under 2.5 goals, with two finishing 1-0. Greece is traditionally much stronger at home rather than away, and will most likely concede even less opportunities on goal than they did in Finland.
With no real quality attackers in the squad Greece have come to rely on keeping a clean sheet instead of scoring goals
It is Finland who are the surprise package in this Nations League Group C. Finland it has to be said have learnt to play to their strengths. These include a sturdy defence along with strong leaders in midfield, especially Tim Sparv. The Finns have picked up four wins in four matches, with three of these wins finishing 1-0 and one 2-0 which was against Greece. Finland have learnt to control their matches and score goals with the few chances they are able to create. Teemu Pukki is on fire both in the Championship as well as for the Finnish national team. One goal could easily be enough for the Finns away in Athens. Finland, like Greece, have a strong defensive line, with a world class goalkeeper in Lukas Hradecky. Finland have conceded zero goals this Nations League campaign and have shown that this is no coincidence. A win in Athens would mean they win the group which is of course their target. Finland will play it safe and won't be taking any unnecessary risks.
Finland have conceded zero goals this Nations League campaign
I promise that this will be a defensive game with very few goal-scoring chances. Both teams are strong defensively. Finland will be happy with a point and will do everything to minimise any risks. Greece on the other hand lack the kind of quality up front to make the most of the possession that they will enjoy at home. This match will lack goals and so I will bet on under 1.5 goals, which means that I believe there will be one goal or no goals.