The Finnish men’s national football team will receive the reinforcement needed for Sunday’s League of Nations match against Bulgaria.

Tim Sparv was out of the group in the Poland practice match. Now the captain takes his place at the heart of midfield.

Sparv explained in more detail on Saturday why the Polish match was missed. It was a nasty situation in the inner circle.

– The last week has been challenging, especially for a girlfriend, Sparv said at a press conference at the Owners on Saturday.

His club team Larissa played a away match last Sunday in Athens against Apollin Smyrn. After the game, Sparv got a call from his girlfriend Jitka Novackovalta.

– The girlfriend is pregnant, and the pregnancy has caused little trouble lately. After the game, my girlfriend called that I was going to the hospital now. I wrote a message to Rive in the middle of the night that I was going to Larissa at the hospital, Sparv said.

A trip to Gdansk for a match in Poland was, of course, out of the question. According to Sparv, Novackova and the child are now well.

Novackova spoke about the situation earlier on her own Instagram. She shared a picture of herself and her husband in a hospital bed and assured that the situation is not as serious as it seems.

-Tim is a great support to me. He knew I was alone here in Greece and no one knew what would happen. And yeah, he also smuggled the plum to the hospital. I love you, Novackova wrote.

Expecting the first child in a foreign country in Greece is a new and special situation for the family.

– Sometimes it’s awkward. Fortunately, a good doctor and good people have been found around. I know he’s all right there, Sparv said.


Sparv, 33, sought new experiences in Greece for his career, and those have been enough.

– I don’t want to go into details, but life is quite different, Sparv smiled.

– The culture is quite different, but that’s what I wanted. Every morning when I wake up, I get to wonder what I see today. But that’s just nice.

From a football point of view, the challenge is significant. Larissa is struggling to survive in the Greek Super League. There is one point in the pile of three matches. The level is hard.

Skillful Bulgaria

On Sunday, Finland will receive a small number of spectators for the Olympic Stadium and Bulgaria as its opponent. The opponent’s recent results do not end in dizziness, but Finland is preparing for an awkward game.

– At the attacking head, they are very good. They have a few very skilled players and we need to be careful. They’ve been unlucky in a couple of games and would have deserved better results, Sparv knows.

Head coach Markku Kanerva compass his captain. Bulgaria lost 1-3 to Hungary in the European Championship playoff semi-finals on Thursday, but according to Kanerva, Bulgaria dominated the match.

Coach Georgi Dermendzhiev has recycled a lot of players in the group.

– The basic skill level is good. The new coach has been organized defensively and has received discipline. As Tim said, they would have earned more. It’s about the quality team, Kanerva said.

New rise

Finland took a hoe from Poland 1–5. Kanerva reminds that a similar situation was seen in the European Championship qualifiers.

– It has been analyzed and the gaze turned to tomorrow. Faith in the team is hard. We have been in a similar situation: we got a nose against Bosnia and a great victory was taken against Armenia in Turku. I think the same thing will happen tomorrow.

In Gdansk, Huuhkaji had, on the ground, kindly a second crew. Especially during the opening period, the ride was ice cold. After reading the readings, Finland also got goal points and Ilmari Niskasen comforting paint.

Joel Pohjanpalo is the most likely opener against Bulgaria in the Polish opening. Heather promises changes.

According to him, Teemu Pukki, who suffers from a toe problem, is in full play. There were also setbacks. Thomas Lamin the knee twisted in Poland. Got a shoulder injury in a club team game Lassi Lappalainen did not travel to Finland. Important side pack Jukka Raitala is gone.

– One player is still looking at a bit of fitness, Kanerva added.

– Yes, that lineup will change. There will be more players in the opening who were not in the Poland game. One can certainly deduce why certain players were spared.

Finland will still face Ireland in the home game on Wednesday.

– We’ll see fresh legs, and we’ll definitely see a fight-minded and hungry team.

After two rounds, Wales is in block number one in a clean game. Finland (3 points) is second only to Ireland (1) and Bulgaria (1).