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International Friendlies Predictions > Sep 1st - 8th

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Finland vs Wales

Ah, it's that good old pointless thing of a friendly international match in an international window when the teams are already playing two competitive games involving a fair bit of travel just less than a month into the domestic club calendar. It makes total sense! 🙈 Anyway, it's Finland versus Wales in a 5pm BST kick-off on Wednesday night at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium.

Finland are still revelling in the after glow of qualifying for the 2020 European Championship. An unfortunate group stage elimination on goal difference meant the dream ended at the first hurdle but it was a fantastic experience for the nation. Head coach Markku Kanerva continues to lead his nation for the 2022 World Cup qualification campaign. The Eagle-owls have earned two draws from their two group games thus far so will see this friendly as a chance to tinker with things to try and turn those draws into wins. Finland have a reasonably full strength squad at their disposal so we can expect them to pull out all the stops to get into the winning mentality ahead of their qualification matches with Kazakhstan at home and France away.

Wales could not have wished for a worst international window. OK, so let's cover the absentees first due to covid, injuries, and visa issues. Aaron Ramsey, David Brooks, Joe Rodon, Neco Williams, and George Thomas have all been ruled out through injury. Adam Davies and Kieffer Moore have been withdrawn due to covid-related reasons. Ethan Ampadu, Tyler Roberts, and Brandon Cooper will all miss the Belarus game that has been re-scheduled to be played in Russia due to visa issues. It's quite simply a farce. On the plus side, Wales still have the likes of Gareth Bale, Ben Davies, Daniel James, Joe Allen, and Harry Wilson available. Woop! Needless to say, I can't see Robert Page taking any risks with key players for this game so expect the likes of James Lawrence, Rhys Norrington-Davies, Dylan Levitt, Rubin Colwill, and Brennan Johnson to be given run outs here.

I'm not sure interest in this game in Wales could be less enthusiastic. Our fans were a little bit nervous about the qualifiers under Page anyway but these absentees that have hit us are devastating. I think if we can take a win from these three games then that's the expectation. Hopefully, we can pick up two wins in the qualifiers but it's going to be very hard. Not a good time for Wales at all and it could start here.

Finland to Win @ 3.00 with SBK

Total Goals Scored Under 2.5 @ 1.55 with Mansion Bet

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Estonia vs Northern Ireland

I don't mean any disrespect to Estonian or Northern Irish football but one of the least heart-pumping friendly matches coming up this international break is the clash between Estonia and Northern Ireland at 5pm BST on Sunday afternoon at the Lillekula Stadium in Tallinn. This is a chance for both teams to try out some new ideas and players before their next round of World Cup qualifiers next week.

Estonia currently sit in bottom place of Group E in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers having lost all of their group matches so far. The 5-2 defeat at home to Belgium in midweek brought to an end a winning run of 3 matches against Lithuania, Finland, and Latvia. Head coach Thomas Haberli knows his side face a tough game away to Wales next week so he will be keen to see if some of his fringe players can compete for a starting spot for that game. This is an Estonian team that shouldn't be under-estimated. Captain Konstantin Vassilijev (25), Henri Anier (17), and Sergei Zenjov (13) are all proven scorers at international level so they can pose an attacking threat. Tottenham's Maksim Paskotski, Helsingborg's Vladislav Kreida, and VVV Venlo's Erik Sorga are all bright prospects as well. They shouldn't be taken lightly.

Northern Ireland will use this game to prepare for their Group C clash with Switzerland next week. Head coach Ian Baraclough witnessed his team cruise to a 4-1 win away to Lithuania last week and he'll be keen to rest first team players ahead of the Swiss game. The likes of Conor Bradley, Conor Hazard, Dion Charles, Ciaron Brown, Alfie McCalmont, and Tom Flanagan are all expected to be in with a shout of starting. Paddy McNair is suspended for the Switzerland game so it's likely he'll be included in the team to add a bit of much-needed experience.

This game could play out exactly as Wales' friendly against Finland did last week. Two teams making a wealth of changes to their usual line-up to offer players game time and experience. I can see a disjointed clash with neither team excelling. In fact, a narrow 1-0 win for Northern Ireland is tempting but I'm not sure they have enough goals in the potential starting line-up to win so even a bore 0-0 draw seems attractive.

Draw @ 3.30 with SBK

Total Goals Scored Under 1.5 @ 2.98 with SBK

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