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Italy's edge over Finland

Italy and Finland will begin the competition in Halmstad with their first final tournament meeting, but they have gone head to head in important encounters in the past.

Sara Gama (in blue) challenges Tiina Salmén (No6) during Italy's 3-1 win in Finland in June 2010
Sara Gama (in blue) challenges Tiina Salmén (No6) during Italy's 3-1 win in Finland in June 2010 ©Jussi Eskola

Italy and Finland begin UEFA Women's EURO 2013 in Halmstad with their first final tournament meeting, although they have had important encounters in the past.

Head-to-head record
• Italy have the upper hand in their ten previous fixtures, winning five to Finland's one with four draws. Italy also lead the goal count 15-9 and are unbeaten in six competitive meetings, with three wins and three draws.

• Their first meetings were in 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying. Italy won 1-0 at home and 2-1 away to top the group and reach the finals, while Finland lost a play-off to Russia.

• In UEFA Women's EURO 2005 qualifying both games were drawn 1-1, as Italy finished second and Finland third behind Sweden. Both Italy and Finland qualified via the play-offs, Finland going on to reach the semis on their finals debut.

• Finland's only win against Italy was a 3-2 friendly success in Helsinki on 28 May 2009.

Selected previous meetings
31 March 2010: Italy 1-1 Finland (Tiilikainen 4; Gabbiadini 58) - Cino e Lillo Del Duca, Ascoli, FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying
Picarelli, Gama, D'Adda, Tuttino, Tona, Schiavi, Domenichetti, Gabbiadini, Panico, Camporese (Fuselli 85), Parisi (Conti 69).
Finland: Korpela, Saari, Hyyrynen, Tiilikainen, Syrjälä, Kukkonen, Österberg Kalmari, Rantanen, Sjölund (Lyytikäinen 54), Puranen (Lehtinen 86), Sällström.

23 June 2010: Finland 1-3 Italy (Sällström 49; Conti 25, Gabbiadini 66, Parisi 70) - ISS Stadium, Vantaa, FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying
Korpela, Saari, Hyyrynen, Salmén, Kukkonen, Syrjälä (Vartiainen 80), Österberg Kalmari, Sjölund (Talonen 71), Westerlund (Alanen 46), Lyytikäinen, Sällström.
Picarelli, Gama, D'Adda, Manieri, Tona, Domenichetti, Gabbiadini, Conti (Zorri 90+1), Panico, Camporese (Vicciarello 55), Parisi.

• The last time these teams were matched was in a qualifying group in which the only points either side dropped were against each other. Finland had the edge after their away draw in Andrée Jeglertz's first competitive game in charge but Italy clinched top spot with their victory in Vantaa, though they were to miss out on the finals via the play-offs.

• In their only competitive youth meetings, Italy won a two-legged 1998/99 UEFA European Women's Under-18 Championship quarter-final on away goals after a 0-0 home draw and 1-1 result in Vaasa. Pamela Conti was in the Italy team and Katri Nokso-Koivisto played for Finland.

Form guide
• Italy kept up their fine run from 2011 World Cup qualifying in reaching these finals. They clinched first place in Group 1 ahead of Russia with two games left and won nine and drew one of their fixtures, 0-0 in Greece in their last match. They scored 35 goals without reply.

• A month prior to clinching qualification, coach Pietro Ghedin left to take over the Malta men's team and was succeeded by 1982 FIFA World Cup winner Antonio Cabrini.

• Italy have never failed to make the last eight of a Women's EURO and were runners-up in 1993 and 1997.

• This is Patrizia Panico's fifth UEFA Women's EURO final tournament having played at 1997, 2001, 2005 (the only one in which she did not score) and 2009.

• Finland qualified from Group 5 with a game to spare, winning six, drawing one and losing one of their eight games. Their only draw was 2-2 in Belarus and they lost their last match 1-0 at home to Ukraine having already clinched first place.

• Finland did not qualify for a major women's tournament until reaching the 2005 semi-finals. As hosts, last time out they won Group A but lost 3-2 to England in the quarter-finals.

Team ties
• As a player, Italy coach Cabrini twice came up against Finnish opposition. In the 1983/84 European Cup Winners' Cup he started both legs as Juventus beat Valkeakosken Haka 1-0 away and home in the quarter-finals as they went on to lift the trophy for the only time.

• In the 1984/85 European Champion Clubs' Cup first round Cabrini's Juve defeated Tampere United 4-0 away and 2-1 at home on their way to their first victory in the competition.

• In his last season as coach of Umeå IK in his native Sweden, Jeglertz oversaw a 4-0 home UEFA Women's Cup second qualifying round win against ASD CF Verona on 14 October 2008. Among the Verona team were Anna Maria Picarelli, Roberta D'Adda, Panico, Valentino Boni, Viviana Schiavi, Alice Parisi, Christina Girelli, Alessoa Tuttino and Giorgia Motta, with Gabbiadini coming off the bench.

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