Yle Sporten broadcasts: & quot; The king needs a queen & quot; – Westerlund matches Litmanen’s record as Finland tries to do the impossible against Sweden in the World Cup qualifiers

It’s time for history – but of what magnitude? When Finland walks into a sold-out Gamla Ullevi tonight, Anna Westerlund follows in Jari Litmanen’s footsteps. Yle broadcasts Sweden – Finland on TV2 at 7.30 pm.

This Thursday looks to be historic for Anna Westerlund – but how historic? It still remains to be seen, because two records are on the fork.

We take the safe before the unsafe – just as Finland is trying to do against Sweden tonight.

Since his national team debut in 2008, Pargas-born Westerlund has slowly but surely worked his way up to Jari Litmanen’s incredible record of 137 international appearances. If Westerlund is allowed to play against blue-yellow – which exactly everything points to – she touches Litmanen’s record.

Anna Westerlund


Westerlund was also a starting player in the European Championships in 2013. At that time, Finland lost to Sweden 0-5 at Gamla Ullevi.

Photo: Photo: Carina Bruun

– The king needs a queen, Westerlund says with a smile on her face when she meets the press in a video call.

– I know the record, but have not thought much about it on location in Gothenburg. Jari will always be the king, but I like to be the queen, she continues.

Trained with PIF to keep in shape

But it can get even better.

Westerlund has the chance to celebrate the record by ending Sweden’s senseless 39-year-old full-blown suite at home in the World Cup and European Championship qualifiers.

It is a much more difficult task, a bit like putting a thousand-piece puzzle blindly. But shame on the one who gives in: Westerlund says that Finland is good on counterattacks and must judge when it comes to accelerating up the track.

– From a defense point of view, it is important to keep contact between the lines and be compact horizontally and vertically. We will push them out on the edges, but are also aware that they have good main players and must also pay attention to posts.

Just get used to this way of playing. Westerlund, who has kept in shape by training with a boys team on Åland and Pargas IF’s men’s team, will have to defend against teams of exactly the same caliber in the European Championships next summer.

World Cup table, group A
Lag Games played Point
1. Sweden 3 9
2. Finland 3 6
3. Slovakia 3 3
4. Ireland 2 3
5. Georgia 3 0

Korpela finally in match form

Finland enters the match against Sweden with a fresh loss in the back, 1-2 against Ireland at home at the Olympic Stadium burned properly. Sweden has faithfully won all matches and marches towards the group victory by leaps and bounds.

You have to look with a magnifying glass to find factors that speak for Finland. Sweden is better regardless of whether you look at world rankings, player material, form or history.

Goalkeeper Tinja-Riikka Korpela’s last month still calls for hope. The cage keeper, who was shaking against Ireland, has finally got playing time at the club Tottenham and done well.

Tinja-Riikka Korpela i Tottenhams kläder.


Tinja-Riikka Korpela has had to start when her colleague Rebecca Spencer was injured.

Bild: imago images/Sports Press Photo/ All Over Press

Among other things, she was named the match’s liar when Spurs managed a draw against league leader Arsenal.

– It has been fun and I have enjoyed playing tough matches. It feels like I’m on the cutting edge, says Korpela.

A new giant effort is now required to silence the 14,500 spectators at a sold-out Gamla Ullevi.

The broadcast from Sweden – Finland starts at 19.15 and the match a quarter of an hour later. Sebastian Backman comments in Swedish.

The program is not yet available

Finland matches in the World Cup qualifiers


21.9 Finland – Slovakia 2–1

21.10 Georgia – Finland 0–3

26.10 Finland – Ireland 1-2

25.11 Sweden – Finland in Gothenburg at 19.30 Finnish time


8.4 Slovakia – Finland

12.4 Finland – Georgia

1.9 Ireland – Finland

6.9 Finland – Sweden

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