Sunday September 8 2019
Line-ups: Finland v Italy

Italy make several changes from Armenia as they visit Teemu Pukki’s Finland, starting Armando Izzo, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Stefano Sensi and Ciro Immobile.

The Euro 2020 qualifier kicks off in Tampere at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

You can follow all the build-up and action as it happens on the LIVEBLOG.

The Azzurri have a 100 per cent record in Group J, but Finland are in second place, having won every game with a clean sheet since their opening 2-0 loss in Udine back in March.

It means only three points separate them and this is a head-to-head at the top of the group, especially after Armenia beat Bosnia 4-2 earlier today.

Marco Verratti is suspended following Thursday’s 3-1 victory in Armenia, so Inter midfielder Sensi steps in to join his Inter teammate Nicolò Barella.

There are two adjustments in defence, as Torino’s Armando Izzo is a makeshift right-back with Francesco Acerbi joining Leonardo Bonucci, moving Alessandro Florenzi and Alessio Romagnoli to the bench.

Andrea Belotti makes way for the fresh legs of Lazio striker Ciro Immobile, flanked by Federico Chiesa and Lorenzo Pellegrini, the Roma man having scored his debut senior Italy goal against Armenia as a substitute.

Finland have won their last four qualifiers with clean sheets and Norwich City striker Pukki leads the way, having scored four of their last five goals in the group.

Captain Tim Sparv is suspended in midfield, so they adjust to a very defensive 5-4-1 formation, much more negative than the side that beat Greece 1-0 on Thursday.

Robin Lod’s pace can cause problems and so can Lassi Lappalainen, on loan at the Montreal Impact from Bologna, after recovering from injury.

There are two Italy-based players in the Finnish squad, new Brescia goalkeeper Jesse Joronen and Chievo defender Sauli Vaisanen.

However, Lukas Hradecky is the first choice in goal, as the 29-year-old plays for Bayer Leverkusen and wears the captain’s armband tonight.

Finland: Hradecky; Granlund, Toivio, Arajuuri, S Vaisanen, Uronan; Lod, Schuller, Kamara, Lappalainen; Pukki

Finland bench: Joronen, Jaakkola, L Vaisanen, Forsell, Jensen, Soiri, Karjalainen, Pirinen, Skrabb, Kauko, Tuominen, Raitala

Italy: G Donnarumma; Izzo, Bonucci, Acerbi, Emerson; Sensi, Jorginho, Barella; Chiesa, Immobile, Lo Pellegrini

Italy bench: Sirigu, Meret, Tonali, D’Ambrosio, Belotti, Bernardeschi, Grifo, Romagnoli, Lasagna, Florenzi, El Shaarawy, Mancini

Ref: Madden (SCO)

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