Wales vs Finland Prediction: Dragons to breathe new life into Euros dream

 | March 20 | 

4 mins read

cardiff city stadium scaled

A momentous match awaits Wales at the Cardiff City Stadium on Thursday (KO, 19:45) as the Dragons face Finland in a one-legged European Championship play-off semi-final. The winner of the tie will earn home advantage for a one-leg Euro 2024 play-off final against either Poland or Estonia on Tuesday, March 26.

Below we have detailed all the latest team news and match odds ahead of this crunch clash, which is live on BBC iPlayer, and offered our Wales vs Finland prediction.

Wales vs Finland Betting Tips

  • Wales to win to nil @ 13/8
  • Wales to win and under 2.5 goals @ 23/10

Wales missed out on automatic qualification for the summer tournament after finishing behind Turkey and Croatia in Group D, but their performances in the Nations League handed them a play-off berth.

Likewise, Finland ended up third in their qualification group - behind Denmark and Slovenia - but advanced to the play-offs via the Nations League.

Team News

There have already been a couple of withdrawals from the Wales squad originally named by head coach Rob Page. Defenders Ben Cabango (Swansea City) and Joe Low (Wycombe Wanderers) have pulled out through injury, with Queens Park Rangers full-back Morgan Fox called up to replace the former.

Ipswich Town attacker Wes Burns is also considered a major doubt after suffering a hamstring injury on Saturday.

Captain Aaron Ramsey hasn't started a game for six months but the 84-cap international made his return from injury in Cardiff City's 2-0 defeat to Swansea on Saturday and has been named in the Wales squad, so could be an option from the bench.

Inter Miami's Robert Taylor has attracted criticism from Finland supporters after reportedly rejecting a call-up in favour of playing in MLS, though he hasn't been an integral player for his nation recently.

Goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky has enjoyed a superb campaign with his club side Bayer Leverkusen and the Finland captain is joined by other high-profile players such as Teemu Pukki (Minnesota United) and Glen Kamara (Leeds United).

Pukki's club teammate Robin Lod is another important figure for Finland but there are concerns over Middlesbrough forward Marcus Forss who came off injured in a goalless draw with Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.

Match Odds

Unsurprisingly, Wales have been installed as 9/10 favourites to win the tie inside 90 minutes on Thursday, with Finland backable at 18/5 to progress without the need for extra time and/or penalties. The draw, which would force at least 30 minutes more action, can be found at 23/10.

Both teams to score (90 mins) in Cardiff is 11/10 and it's 11/8 for over 2.5 goals.

Betfred will be Top Price or joint Top Price on Wales to beat Finland with selected bookmakers using oddschecker.com for the comparison (Available from 09:30 Thursday).

Wales to win to nil @ 13/8

Finland are a decent team with some good, experienced players in their ranks - notably Hradecky, Lod and Pukki - but it's fair to say there is a bit more quality in the Wales squad, which is headlined by Ramsey, Harry Wilson (Fulham), Brennan Johnson (Tottenham Hotspur) and Kieffer Moore (Ipswich).

With a raucous crowd behind them, I think Wales can complete the mission in normal time. Moore is back playing regularly and scoring goals at club level and his physicality should be enough to unsettle an unheralded Finland backline.

Four of Wales' last five wins have been to nil and while the majority have been against much inferior opposition, the first of those was in a World Cup play-off final victory over Ukraine in Cardiff in June 2022.

There have been some injuries at the back for Wales, who are also without Luton Town's Tom Lockyer after his cardiac arrest in December, but with the likes of Joe Rodon (Leeds), Ben Davies (Spurs) and Neco Williams (Nottingham Forest) still available, there is enough to convince me that they can hold out a Finland side which has failed to score in four of their last six defeats.

Backing another 1-0 scoreline at 9/2 is tempting, but the above suggestion does offer some leeway in case the visitors overcommit and leave themselves vulnerable on the break in search of an equaliser.

Wales to win to nil vs Finland at 13-8

Wales to win and under 2.5 goals @ 23/10

I can see this being a tight affair with some risk-averse tactics deployed, and that could mean a low-scoring affair in the Welsh capital.

The Dragons aren't known for being a particularly expansive team, so if they do take the lead as I expect, they are likely to play a patient game and only push forwards if there is a presentable opportunity put in front of them.

Wales to beat Finland and under 2.5 goals at 12-5

Check out the rest of our Football Betting Tips here.

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