Canaries star prepares for big night as Finland aim to seal Euro 2020 place

Will there be a Pukki party in Finland tonight? 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Will there be a Pukki party in Finland tonight? Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

Norwich City star Teemu Pukki and Finland are set to take centre stage in European Championship qualification this evening.

The Finns know that victory over minnows Liechtenstein in Helsinki (5pm UK time) will spark an almighty celebration, as it would seal the nation's place at a major tournament for the very first time.

They would have another chance should they slip up, in Greece on Monday, but the visitors have picked up just two draws in eight games to sit bottom of Group J.

Finland are second behind leaders Italy - who have already sealed qualification with eight wins from eight games - thanks to five wins so far.

Pukki has been pivotal to that success with seven goals in qualifying, taking his overall international tally to 22 in 77 appearances, with the 29-year-old's success in England making him a national idol.

Should things go drastically wrong for the Finns they would still have the fallback of a guaranteed play-off place, having won their Uefa Nations League group last year as well.

Elsewhere, Canaries duo Ben Godfrey and Max Aarons are in Albania with the England Under-21s to continue qualification for the European U21 Championship.

Aidy Boothroyd's squad lead Group Three after winning all three of their games so far, with Aarons starting all three. The Young Lions kick-off at 6pm UK time, with a friendly in Holland to follow on Tuesday (5.30pm).

Young striker Adam Idah got the international action under way for City players yesterday, setting up the only goal as the Republic of Ireland Under-21s won 1-0 in Armenia.

The 18-year-old was taken off in the 86th minutes as the visitors saw out the game after having a player sent off, remaining top of their qualification group for the 2021 European U21 Championship, ahead of another qualifier against Sweden in Dublin on Tuesday (8pm).

Kenny McLean could be in action on Saturday, against Cyprus (2pm), although the Scots' chances of qualifying are already over - but with a play-off place secured thanks to the Nations League.

And Jamal Lewis is with Northern Ireland, who must win in Holland (7.45pm) to have any chance of qualifying for next summer's European Championship.

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