Follow all the action from the Group B clash in Saint Petersburg
Finland were 1-0 winners against Denmark in their Group B opener on Saturday, in a fixture that resumed that evening having been paused earlier in the day after the shocking collapse of Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen. The Inter Milan playmaker has thankfully since showed promising signs of recovery – conscious and sharing a positive update from hospital yesterday, though his team-mates were unable to get the result they desired against Finland in the 29-year-old’s absence.
Russland, i mellomtiden, var thrashed 3-0 by Belgium on Saturday evening, as the world’s No 1-ranked side ran riot in Saint Petersburg, with Romelu Lukaku scoring twice and Thomas Meunier also netting for Roberto Martinez’s side. It leaves Russia, who enjoyed an impressive quarter-final run on home turf at the 2018 Verdensmesterskap, facing an uphill battle to qualify for the knockout rounds this summer.
Finland, på den andre siden, now have a strong chance of reaching the last 16, and would all but guarantee their place in the next round with a victory over the Russians this afternoon. Follow live updates from Finland vs Russia at Euro 2020 under.
RUSSIA TEAM NEWS
Kuzyaev shakes off a minor knock to start.
Goalkeeper Shunin, left back Zhirkov and Semenov are out while replacement goalkeeper Safonov, Miranchuk and Diveev are in.
FINLAND TEAM NEWS
Russia hoping for more of the same against Finland
Russia have won all four of their games against Finland, scoring at least three goals in each of those matches (15 goals in total).
Finland have only scored one goal vs Russia – that goal was netted in 1995 past goalkeeper Stanislav Cherchesov.
Romelu Lukaku dedicates goal to Christian Eriksen as Belgium see off Russia
The Group B fixture had appeared in doubt when the other match in the group between Denmark and Finland – taking place two hours earlier – was suspended after Eriksen collapsed in the first half.
A lengthy delay occurred but after the Inter playmaker was able to regain consciousness and was taken to hospital, where he is in a stable position, the first match in the group resumed and Belgium were able to take on Russia, which ended in a routine victory for Roberto Martinez’s men.
Belgia 3-0 Russland: Striker scored twice as the Red Devils started their campaign in style
Can Russia turn things around against Finland?
A 10th-minute opener from Romelu Lukaku set the tone for Russia’s clash with Belgium early on, as Stanislav Cherchesov‘s side were no match for the world’s number-one ranked nation during their Group B bow.
A frenetic first half was marred by a spate of injuries to both teams, but Belgium were 2-0 up by the break as substitute Thomas Meunier tapped home a second for the Red Devils, and the right-back got the assist for Lukaku to net his second of the night in the 88th minute.
Defeat to the Red Devils means that Russia are now winless in six European Championship games since a 4-1 victory over the Czech Republic in June 2012, and all of their last three at the tournament have ended in defeat.
derimot, that could change today as Russia have claimed four victories from four encounters with Finland as an independent nation – during which time they have scored 15 mål – and Finland manager Kanerva participated in a 6-0 defeat for the Huuhkajat back in 1995.
Finland edge out Denmark after Christian Eriksen collapse halts Euro 2020 tie
In case you missed it…
Finland marked their arrival at a first international tournament with a 1-0 win over Denmark in Copenhagen where the match had been suspended just before half-time after Inter Milan midfielder Christian Eriksen collapsed and was taken to hospital.
The former Tottenham playmaker had suddenly dropped to the ground at the Parken Stadium as he ran back from the Finland penalty area, leaving players from both teams in clear distress.
English referee Anthony Taylor immediately called medics on to the pitch and Eriksen underwent prolonged treatment, with compressions performed on the chest of the Denmark midfielder before he was taken to hospital for further treatment.
Danmark 0-1 Finland: Joel Pohjanpalo’s goal secured a famous win but thoughts were elsewhere on a scary night for the game
Finnish glory on traumatic day
After hearing the reassuring news that Christian Eriksen was awake and stable in hospital, both Denmark and Finland’s players remarkably chose to continue on Saturday evening.
No goals had been scored before the day’s distressing events unfolded, but Finland – appearing at their first-ever game at a major tournament – took all three points thanks to Joel Pohjanpalo‘s header, while goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky saved Spurs midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg‘s penalty.
Victory over the stricken Danes saw Finland end a six-game winless run across all competitions after consecutive defeats in warm-up games, but Markku Kanerva will be aware that Saturday provided unique circumstances.
Finland need to be ‘fully focused’ against Russia, Markku Kanerva says
Finland boss Markku Kanerva admitted he was unsure how his players will react to Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest in their next game on Wednesday against Russia
The Finns launched their first major tournament with a 1-0 win against Denmark on Sunday, but their opening Group B fixture was overshadowed by Eriksen’s first-half collapse.
Eriksen is recovering in hospital and Finland have since relocated from Copenhagen to St Petersburg. Kanerva’s squad could book their place in the round of 16 with victory if Denmark fail to beat Belgium.
Russia are bidding to bounce back from their 3-0 opening group defeat to Belgium.
Finland face Russia in Group B at Euro 2020
Good afternoon all and welcome to the Independent’s live coverage of Finland vs Russia. The second group stage games start here and it’s Group B which takes centre stage in St Petersburg first of all.
The pressure is really on Russia to deliver in this game if they want a last-16 berth; having been hammered by Belgium in the opener they must take a positive result this time around, against a Finland side who made their own history last time out by taking three points against Denmark.
That game was of course overshadowed by the collapse of Christian Eriksen, but with the Danish playmaker posting positive updates of late, the focus will now be on who can emerge through a tightly-contested group.
A point here for Finland would probably secure passage for them to the last 16, as one of the four best third-placed teams at worst – it’s possible to go through with three points, so four would surely have them celebrating reaching the knock-out phase at the first time of asking in a major men’s international tournament.