Wales vs Finland

, KO: 19:45 Mar 21, 2024, Cardiff City Stadium

HAVING waited 58 years to reach a major finals, Wales are now looking to qualify for the third time in just eight years as they gear up for a Euro 2024 play-off semi-final with Finland in Cardiff.

The golden generation who ended the drought by reaching Euro 2016 – then upset the odds by reaching the semi-finals – are now in their silver years, with Gareth Bale and Joe Allen having retired and the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Ben Davies approaching the end of their careers.

But the Dragons still haven't lost their roar and after reaching the World Cup in Qatar they now have their eyes on another adventure at the Euros in Germany. Even though they could only finish third in their Euro 2024 qualifying group behind Turkey and Croatia, Rob Page's side still managed to sneak into the play-offs.

And they will fancy their chances against a Finland team who are also in decline, with the heroes of their own golden generation losing a little bit of lustre since the high of reaching Euro 2020.

Qualifying for that tournament was the high point in Finland's football history as they had never played at a major finals before. But the Finns failed to follow it up by reaching the World Cup and only just scraped into the Euro 2024 play-offs after finishing third in their group behind Denmark and Slovenia.

The likes of Teemu Pukki and skipper Ramus Schuller are now approaching their mid-30s but Finland can still pack a punch on their day and demolished Northern Ireland 4-0 in the qualifiers to bring up a bet for me.

They won't be overawed by a trip to Cardiff and with either Poland or Estonia awaiting in the play-off final, the Finns will fight to keep their Euro dream alive.

How the bookies view it

Wales are the favourites with home advantage and are just 4/9 with 888Sport to reach the final, although the odds increase to 9/10 at Betfred for a win inside 90 minutes. Finland are 21/10 at Betfair to go through and 15/4 at Bet365 to get the job done in normal time. The draw at 90 minutes pays 47/17 with VBet.

Head to head

These nations have faced off 15 times and Wales just have the edge, winning six of those games and losing four times. The last meeting was a dreary 0-0 friendly draw in Helsinki back in 2021 but Wales won home and away when these teams faced off in the UEFA Nations League a year prior to that.

Players to watch

With Bale retired, Harry Wilson has stepped up to provide some moments of magic. The Fulham winger scored a double in the thrilling 2-1 win over Croatia and is 7/2 with Paddy Power for anytime scorer.

Oliver Antman shares a name with a Marvel character and his scoring record at international is pretty heroic. In just eight caps, the Nordsjælland midfielder has scored five times so Wales will need to be wary of his threat. Antman is 11/2 with Bet365 for anytime scorer and that looks overpriced given those stats. He's also a tempting 13/8 with the same firm just to have a shot on target.

Anything else catch the eye?

There's not much between these teams so I'd imagine it will be a tight and tense game. The half-time draw pays evens with William Hill while McBookie price a one-goal winning margin for either side at 5/4.

The atmosphere will be raucous in Cardiff and that could lead to a few tasty tackles flying in. I can't see a market for total cards yet but Bet365 do have prices on individual players going in the book. Ethan Ampadu of Leeds has collected 10 yellows for club and country this term and is 11/4 to fall foul of the ref again while Finland stopper Richard Jensen is 9/2 for an eighth card of his campaign.

I'd imagine Wales will have most of the pressure so it could pay to back them at -1 in the corner handicap, a bet that pays 10/11 with Bet365.

This match between Wales and Finland will be played on Mar 21, 2024 and kick off at 19:45. Check below for our tipsters best Wales vs Finland prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.

Wales vs Finland Betting Tips & Predictions
One-goal winning margin
Half-time draw
William Hill
Oliver Antman over 0.5 shots on target

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