Finland beat North America to win Group B: 2021 Hockey World Championship prediction and betting

Ice Hockey. 2021 IIHF World Championship.
Riga, Latvia.
Tournament dates: 21.05.2021 - 06.06.2021.
Anastasiya Dudkina
20 May 2021
11:08
Statistics of the month:
29
41
1
40.85%
Statistics
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Odds 3,70
Bet Type Finland to win in Group B
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Finland beat North America to win Group B Prediction, Betting Tips & Odds│MAY 21 - JUNE 6, 2021

Finland travel to Riga to defend the title they won two years ago in Slovakia. Can Jukka Jalonen’s side get any closer to another trophy, having played well in the group stage of the 2021 World Cup? We predict that Suomi will win Group B.

Finland is the reigning world champion

Finland is the reigning world champions. In 2019, Jukka Jalonen’s men created a sensation in Slovakia, as the coaching staff suddenly decided to forgo the NHL stars, of whom the Finns have plenty, in favour of European players from the Euro Hockey Tour and several from the AHL, while all the other elite teams brought in big names playing in North America.

All this didn’t stop the Suomi representatives from having a great group stage of the tournament, finishing in second place, with the all-star Canadians, with Mark Stone, Jonathan Marchessault, Sam Reinhart, Sean Couturier, Anthony Manta and many others, taking the lead. The Finns faced the Swedes in the quarter-finals, who also had a fantastic line-up, including hockey players such as William Nylander, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Elias Pettersson, Gabriel Landeskog, and the great Henrik Lundqvist at the last line of defence. Nevertheless, the Finns advanced to the semi-finals, winning in overtime, 5-4.

In the semi-final, Jukka Jalonen’s side faced an even tougher test. The Russian national team, led by Ilya Vorobiev, was flawless throughout the tournament, which was not surprising, as the coaching staff had such characters as Andrei Vasilevsky, Dmitry Orlov, and Mikhail Sergachev at their disposal, Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeny Malkin, Nikita Kucherov and many others, but they could not break through Kevin Lankinen, and Marko Anttila converted his chance, sending his team to the final, where the Finns dealt with the same Canadians 3-1.

Finland’s current team form

Finland is the worst team at the end of the current Euro Ice Hockey Tour season. In 12 games, Suomi have only managed to score 11 of a possible 36 points (31%), which is a very modest result, but who cares about those numbers when all the main games of the year are ahead? Jukka Jalonen’s boys have not played any friendlies either, so it’s hard to draw any deep conclusions about their game.

But we can talk about the squad. At the defensive end, we find an experienced Säteri - Olkinuor duo, who plays in the KHL, as well as newcomer Janne Juvonen. Reigning Gagarin Cup winners Ville Pokka and Oliver Kaski, as well as defenceman Olli Määtää from Los Angeles, attract attention on the defence. The core of the attack is made up of players from European leagues and Buffalo’s Reijo Ruotsalainen.

Finland’s main opponents in Group B

Canada is the main favourites for the World Cup in Latvia according to bookmakers. The Maple Leafs were the Finns’ opponents in the 2019 final, but then they had a sumptuous name team that sensationally lost to the representatives of the Suomi 1-3. Now Gerard Gallant will not have a single top-level hockey player at his disposal, well, you can’t count Colin Miller, Troy Stecher and Max Comtois as such. That’s why it’s hard to imagine that the Canadiens can seriously be expected to solve big problems.

The USA is a team that has historically played extremely poorly at world championships. The hockey players are likely to be driven by the tournament, where they are going to get some practice and have a good time, rather than to challenge for a trophy. That is why the Stars and Stripes won the last World Championship in 1960, after which they have only made it to the third spot on the podium six times. The Americans are also in trouble, with Conor Garland, Jason Robinson and Kevin Labanc being the only two standouts in the squad.

Expert Betting Tips

The Finnish national team is one of the most adapted teams to the World Cup coronavirus. In 2019, Jukka Jalonen led a modestly-named squad to victory in the tournament, as if he knew that in two years’ time NHL representatives would not want to go to any of the teams, it was too hard a season for everyone. That said, the Finns have both the reigning World Champions and the best hockey players playing in Europe.

In Group B, the only real rivals for the Finns are the two North American teams, which are very unassuming. Against this backdrop, the Suomi representatives certainly don’t look any worse; at the same time, the Canadians and Americans generally aren’t the fiercest in the world forums, and skill alone will be difficult to win anything on. That’s why a bet on Finland’s win in Group B at around 3.70 is worth a closer look.

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