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EURO 2020 inside track: Finland

UEFA.com's Finland reporter Mikael Erävuori looks forward to a landmark tournament as the debutants hope to spring a surprise.

Meet the teams: Finland

Group B fixtures

12/06: Denmark vs Finland (Copenhagen)
16/06: Finland vs Russia (St Petersburg)
21/06: Finland vs Belgium (St Petersburg)

Team profile

Every goal on Finland's road to EURO 2020

Coach: Markku Kanerva
Captain: Tim Sparv
Nickname: Huuhkajat (Eagle Owls)
How they qualified: Group J runners-up (W6 D0 L4 F16 A10)
EURO best: Debutants

Where they could play their knockout games

Round of 16: Amsterdam, Bucharest, Seville or Glasgow
Quarter-final: Saint Petersburg, Munich, Rome or Baku
Semi-final: London
Final: London

Final 26-man squad

Goalkeepers: Lukas Hradecky (Leverkusen), Anssi Jaakkola (Bristol Rovers), Jesse Joronen (Brescia)

Defenders: Paulus Arajuuri (Pafos), Robert Ivanov (Warta Poznań), Thomas Lam (Zwolle), Daniel O'Shaughnessy (HJK Helsinki), Jukka Raitala (Minnesota United), Joona Toivio (Häcken), Jere Uronen (Genk), Nicholas Hämäläinen (QPR), Sauli Väisänen (Chievo)

Midfielders: Nikolai Alho (MTK Budapest), Fredrik Jensen (Augsburg), Glen Kamara (Rangers), Joni Kauko (Esbjerg), Robin Lod (Minnesota United), Rasmus Schüller (Djurgården), Pyry Soiri (Esbjerg), Tim Sparv (Larissa), Robert Taylor (Brann), Onni Valakari (Pafos)

Forwards: Marcus Forss (Brentford), Lassi Lappalainen (Montréal), Joel Pohjanpalo (Union Berlin), Teemu Pukki (Norwich)

See how Finland stunned France in November

UEFA.com Finland team reporter: Mikael Erävuori

The long wait is finally over for Finland, and for myself too, since this will be our first EURO. Having watched several EUROs at home – I can recall back as far as the 1976 edition – a number of great moments remain vividly in mind. Whatever the outcome this summer, I am certain Finland will provide more special moments to remember, starting from the national anthem being played for the first time at the finals on 12 June in Copenhagen.

How they play

Finland have recently used a 3-5-2 formation – or 5-3-2 – but may also change to 4-4-2, even during a match. In coach Markku Kanerva's mind, everything is based on a solid defence and Finland have proved to be dangerous on the counterattack. They are also capable of keeping possession and attacking from the flanks.

Key player: Teemu Pukki

The Norwich striker scored ten of Finland's 16 goals in qualifying and is the spearhead of the team's attack. Pukki makes clever runs in behind the defensive line and scores from a high percentage of his chances. In addition, he can create space up front for his team-mates and also tracks back tirelessly.

Watch Finland's dressing room celebrations after qualifying

Coach: Markku Kanerva

Kanerva is a former Finland centre-back and also a teacher as well as a coach by occupation. He does not overlook even the smallest details during a game, with every player knowing exactly what is expected from them on the pitch. Moreover, Kanerva is very close to the players and an integral part of creating their good team spirit.

One to watch: Fredrik Jensen

The Augsburg forward has suffered from injuries lately but will go into this EURO back in top form. Although Jensen may well miss out on a starting berth, he is definitely able to bring something fresh from the bench, either in midfield or up front – and also scores goals.

Can they win it?

Finland are not favourites in their group and certainly not fancied to lift the trophy. Yes, they have what it takes to be a surprise package in the tournament – but going all the way would be an even greater shock than Greece produced in 2004.

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