Nazionale A Femminile

Our opponents: Finland

The Scandi side won promotion to League A conceding only 2 goals. Up front they rely on Tottenham midfielder and the Vittsjo forward who has already put 3 past Italy. Giacinti bagged her first Azzurre goal against them in 2018

Monday, April 8, 2024

Our opponents: Finland

From the great journey in the Nations League to the cold shower in the first game of the EURO 2025. But the 4 goals conceded in the game against Norway may be deceiving: Marko Saloranta’s Finland, 27th in the FIFA Rankings, is a young, organised side with talented players, especially in attack. They’re lacking some experience, since the coach - in charge since 2023 - is trying to speed up the generational shift, calling up many girls born after 1999 alongside a few veterans (10 young players involved in these games).

The Helmarit (‘The Boreal Owls’) won promotion to League A of the UEFA competition by finishing top of their group, ahead of Croatia, Slovakia, and Romania. The journey saw them pick up 5 wins and a draw with 18 goals scored and only 2 conceded. The side are students of the Scandinavian school, fielding a 4-4-2 formation that serves the skills of the two strikers: Tottenham midfielder, Eveliina Summanen (4 appearances and 3 goals in the Nations League) and attacking expert Linda Sällström who plays for Vittsjio in Sweden (5 appearances and 4 goals in the Nations League).

The 35-year-old from Helsinki has played for the National team since 2007, collecting 135 appearances and 59 goals. She has scored against Italy three times, twice in the friendly won by Finland in 2009 and once in the return match of the 2010 World Cup qualifiers (1-3 in Vantaa). Included in the squad list for the first two games in Group 1 are also three players who compete in Serie A: Roma goalkeeper, Tinja-Riikka Korpela, Sampdoria midfielder Nora Heroum, and Como forward, Oona Sevenius. Also part of the 23-player side is Natalia Kuikka, a defender competing in the USA with the Chicago Red Stars.

PREVIOUS MEETINGS  – Tomorrow’s game at 18:15 CEST (live on Rai 2) will be the 13th meeting between the two sides: the Azzurre have a clear advantage with 5 wins and 6 draws – including in the three most recent games – and only one defeat, the only game played in Helsinki, in 2009, the friendly that ended 3-2. The last time they faced each other in a qualifier was in 2010 ahead of the World Cup the following year, a double-header that saw Italy pick up a win and a draw. The last game was in 2018 as part of the Cyprus Cup, it ended 2-2: Manuela Giugliano and Valentina Giacinti both scored, it was Giacinti’s first of her 26 for the National team.