Under difficult circumstances, Finland managed to take all three points from their Euro 2020 opener against Denmark in Copenhagen.
Following the serious incident that took place involving Christian Eriksen the game resumed under subdued circumstances and as a result, Finland’s historic first victory and appearance in a major finals went under the radar.
They now travel to St Petersburg to face a Russia side in desperate need of three points following their defeat to Belgium, but do so knowing they already have three points on the board.
In an ideal world, Markku Kanerva would like to be able to name the same starting eleven but he may be forced into a number of changes depending on the fitness of some of his stars.
Here’s how Finland should lineup against Russia on Wednesday.
Lukas Hradecky (GK) – A fine shot-stopper, Hradecky was kept busy in the early stages against Denmark but went on to keep a clean sheet after saving a penalty.
Joona Toivio (CB) – A strong centre-back who proved his worth during Finland’s opener, marshalled the defence brilliantly.
Paulus Arajuuri (CB) – Conceded the penalty but other than that, turned in a strong display for his the Huuhkajat.
Daniel O’Shaughnessy (CB) – Of Irish descent, hence the name, O’Shaughnessy is very much a key part of the Finnish backline and should play.
Leo Vaisanen (RM) – Likely to start in the absence of Jukka Raitala after the wing-back picked up an injury during the win over Denmark.
Robin Lod (CM) – Heavily involved versus the Danes, he was one of the better performers in Finnish blue and has to be one of the first names on the team sheet.
Tim Sparv (CM) – The captain, a leader of men, and he proved vital in Finland’s efforts to break down Denmark’s threatening passages of play. The heartbeat of the team.
Glen Kamara (CM) – Physically imposing and tidy in possession. Kamara came into this tournament having recently been crowned a champion with Rangers and his confidence is showing.
Jere Uronen (LM) – The provider for Finland’s historic second-half goal on Saturday which ultimately proved to be the winner.
Joel Pohjanpalo (ST) – Scored Finland’s first-ever goal at a major finals and is one of a few genuine goal threats in their armoury.
Teemu Pukki (ST) – He netted 26 times for Norwich City in the Championship last season and is Finland’s star player. He works incredibly hard for the team and has so much more to his game than simply goals.