‘Finland would take a draw, but…’

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Finland CT Markku Kanerva has conceded that while his side will face Italy with the intention of winning, he would take a draw.

Italy’s qualifying campaign for Euro 2020 kicks off against Finland on Saturday, and Kanerva was full of praise for Mancini’s ‘very good, young’ team.

“Mancini has a team with some very good young players, who come from some important teams,” he said at a Press conference.

“They’re a top team. I’m afraid of all their players. They have so many good options, so there’s no need to concentrate on individuals.

“They play a lot through the middle via Verratti and Barella, but we always take the field to win.

“That’s what we aim to do, although we know it’ll be difficult against Italy, even if we can do it with a bit of belief. Even a draw would be good.”

The Azzurri’s last experience against a Nordic side saw them fail to qualify for the 2018 World Cup after a playoff defeat to Sweden, so will the Finns take inspiration from that night in November 2017?

“Yes, for them it was a huge achievement,” added the Coach.

“They were very well organised tactically, so we’ll try to do the same.”

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