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1 vs 1
Played
November 16, 2013 6:00 PM GMT
Cardiff City Stadium — Cardiff (Caerdydd)
Referee:‬ S. Delferière‎
Attendance:‬ 11809‎
 
58′ Andy King
Riku Riski 90+1′

Wales - Finland Preview: Coleman hopes for new contract celebration

The manager is expected to announce his new terms on Friday as he looks to recover from a disappointing World Cup qualifying campaign, with Gareth Bale returning to the fold

By Jack Davies

Wales' Gareth Bale.
Getty
Wales will be looking to record just their second victory in eight matches when they welcome Finland to Cardiff on Saturday.

Despite the hosts (44th) sitting 19 places ahead of their opponents in the Fifa world rankings, the head-to-head record between the sides points towards this being a tight encounter. Of the 11 matches to have taken place in history, the nations have four victories apiece with the remainder ending all square.

But Finland have had the upper hand in recent years and won both of the nations' last encounters in qualification for World Cup 2010. Wales's last victory, meanwhile, came in Helsinki in 2002.

Chris Coleman's men picked up an impressive 1-1 away draw with Belgium in their last game - the final fixture of their failed qualification campaign for next year's World Cup - while Finland were well beaten by France in a 3-0 defeat.

However, that loss was just the Finns' second in eight matches, with the other being a 2-0 home reverse to reigning world and European champions Spain in September.

Neither country booked a place at Brazil 2014, so this fixture will be more about preparing for Euro 2016 qualifying for both managers and home captain Ashley Williams hopes that the fixture can prove the springboard for a successful campaign.

"The way we've got to approach it after we didn't qualify for the last one is that we're looking at a fresh tournament now," he told Wales Online.

"This is the start, the first friendly before the next tournament, and I'm sure we'll do some talking when we meet up - where we want to go and our plan for qualifying for the next Euros."

Wales manager Coleman, who suffered a raft of withdrawals ahead of their final two qualifying matches, has only had to deal with three this time around, with Boaz Myhill (Achilles), Andrew Crofts (groin) and David Vaughan (hamstring) pulling out.

That opened the door for Jack Collison, Owain Tudur Jones, Danny Ward and Emyr Huws to come into the fold, with the latter two hoping to make their debut for the senior team.

Another boost for Wales will be the return to first-team action of Real Madrid's Gareth Bale, who did not feature in the last international break due to injury.


Field Report
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Head to Head
International Friendlies ‎(FR)‎ Nov 16, 2013 Wales 1 - Finland 1
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World Cup Qualifying - UEFA ‎(WCQ)‎ Oct 10, 2009 Finland 2 - Wales 1
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World Cup Qualifying - UEFA ‎(WCQ)‎ Mar 28, 2009 Wales 0 - Finland 2
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Last Five Matches
Wales
Mar 5, 2014Wales 3 - Iceland 1FR
Nov 16, 2013Wales 1 - Finland 1FR
Oct 15, 2013Belgium 1 - Wales 1WCQ
Oct 11, 2013Wales 1 - Macedonia FYR 0WCQ
Sep 10, 2013Wales 0 - Serbia 3WCQ
Finland
Mar 5, 2014Hungary 1 - Finland 2FR
Jan 24, 2014Oman 0 - Finland 0FR
Nov 16, 2013Wales 1 - Finland 1FR
Oct 31, 2013Mexico 4 - Finland 2FR
Oct 15, 2013France 3 - Finland 0WCQ
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Wayne HennesseyGoalkeeper
6Ashley WilliamsDefender
3Chris GunterDefender
2Neil TaylorDefender
2Sam RickettsDefender
15Andy KingMidfielder
11Gareth BaleMidfielder
17Hal Robson-KanuStriker
7Joe AllenMidfielder
10Joe LedleyDefender
16Simon ChurchStriker
-Owain Fon WilliamsGoalkeeper
-Ben DaviesDefender
-Rhoys WigginsDefender
14Ashley RichardsDefender
16David CotterillStriker
30Owain Tudur JonesMidfielder
14Jermaine EasterStriker
13Sam VokesStriker
-Emyr HuwsStriker
-Lucas HradeckyGoalkeeper
-Juhani OjalaDefender
-Jere UronenDefender
-Kari ArkivouDefender
3Niklas MoisanderDefender
-Alexander RingMidfielder
7Roman EremenkoMidfielder
-Rasmus SchüllerMidfielder
14Tim SparvMidfielder
-Riku RiskiMidfielder
-Teemu PukkiStriker
-Jesse JoronenGoalkeeper
-Niki MaenpaaGoalkeeper
-Jarko HurmeDefender
-Jukka RaitalaDefender
-Joona ToivioDefender
2Petri PasanenDefender
5Veli LampiStriker
21Kasper HamalainenMidfielder
-Perparim HetemajMidfielder
-Sakari MattilaMidfielder
-Joel PohjanpaloStriker
Results
 
Top Scorers
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A. Pulido A. Pulido
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4 0
Chris Wondolowski Chris Wondolowski
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San Jose Earthquakes
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3 0
C. Ronaldo C. Ronaldo
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2 0
Ivica Olic Ivica Olic
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2 0