Finland vs Iceland
Finland lost all the chances of progressing to the World Cup already long time ago, since the team was drawn in quite difficult group together with Croatia, Iceland, Turkey and Ukraine and they simply couldn't match up against such sides from the first game, being obviously a weaker side as their realistic chance is to end up at fifth position just above Kosovo in the end.
However, all they could do so far is taking a point in a home match against Kosovo in the first round, while the side has suffered next five losses, standing now at the rock bottom position together with Kosovo, with already twelve points less than second placed Iceland. In the most recent match, the side lost in front of own fans against Ukraine in June, as the side looked competitive but not enough in order to threaten the Ukrainians more.
In comparison to previous matches, goalkeeper Niki Maenpaa (26/0, Brighton), defenders Niklas Moisander (58/2, Werder, usually captain too), Jukka Raitala (39/0, Columbus), midfielders Riku Riski (27/4, Odds), Roman Eremenko (73/5, CSKA Moscow) and forward Joel Pohjanpalo (25/5, Leverkusen) won't be playing in this one.
Iceland didn't look like having a lot of chances before the previous qualifying game played, as the side managed to improve their chances a lot with a narrow 1:0 victory in front of own fans against Croatia in June. After these three points taken, the team has same number of points as first placed Croatia (thirteen) and they are once again competitive in the battle for the direct placement to Russia.
However, must be said that the Croatian side had more of the ball possession, however in overall quite a defensive game when the team from Iceland managed to score the only goal in 90th minute via Magnusson, simply by willing more to risk in front of the final whistle, while the Croatians didn't do many noticable things in attack despite having more of the ball possession being punished probably for thinking that a draw in Reykjavik is just fine result for them.
Goalkeeper Ogmundur Kristinsson (14/0, Excelsior), defender Hallgrimur Jonasson (16/3, Lungby), midfielders Arnor Smarason (22/2, Hammarby), Theodor Elmar Bjarnason (36/0, Elazigspor) and forwards Kolbeinn Sigþorsson (44/22, Nantes) won't be playing in this one in comparison to previous few matches.
Finland is looking competitive in their matches, however they simply lack more of individual quality in each lines of the team in order to get the right results against stronger opponents in their group. Now the momentum and competitive motive is surely with the visiting side and I believe they will be able to obtain much needed three pointer easy or hard.