The World Cup in Russia is only a few days in front of us, however, the international break is over for Veikkausliiga. So, while the grandiose football feast is on we can still enjoy our favorite league.
Inter v PS Kemi
A victorious Suomen Cup final set Inter on the brink of a positive flow in the league, with grabbing 7 points out of their 4 following games, losing only to cup losers HJK. In the previous match at Mariehamn, Inter started off strongly, although with some typical characteristics. A missed penalty in the fourth minute did not let the team down, however, and they cruised on to a 0-2 lead before half of the first half had passed.
What made the game typical was Inter’s horrendous start to the second half, slipping the comfortable lead away from their hands. Mariehamn bounced back to 2-2 in the first fifteen minutes and Inter looked like the same henhouse we’ve seen multiple times this season. However, another penalty late in the game gave Inter a second chance, and Mikko Kuningas struck the winning goal.
In other words, positive vibes in the nerazzurro side of Turku, right? Well, somewhat unsurprisingly no. Head coach Fabrizio Piccareta resigned Sunday morning and returned to his native Italy. There were personal issues that pulled him back home, however, he took as well personal responsibility in his failure to implement his philosophy on the field. In other words, despite winning the cup, Mister Piccareta was clearly disappointed on himself.
Kemi, on the other hand, has slowly but surely started to get their game in shape. It’s far from the top half of the league but at this pace it looks to be, once again, enough to avoid relegation.
The Northerners are starting to build up a reputation as a slow-started machine. The diesel engine has been plain awful early on in the season but now they have the capacity to shock top teams like KuPS.
Kemi’s development has not gained the amount of points they would deserve, yet. Against an Inter that honestly seem now to be even more lost than ever before, the visitors should not have a completely horrible time.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: PS Kemi 1.00 at 2.080
KuPS v Ilves
We are only a third way into the season, but the title was practically won by HJK already before the international break. Despite a thunderous start to the season, RoPS enthusiastic and inspiring youthful football started to wear off quite fast, leaving KuPS as the only serious contender.
KuPS glorious victory away at HJK balanced the competition big time, and the short period of crisis the title favorites went through set up a proper chance for the Savonians especially when they were facing the two worst sides in Veikkausliiga before the break.
However, things did not work out so well for the contenders. An embarrassing 2-3 home defeat to Kemi was followed by an even worse performance at TPS, where KuPS were lucky with TPS being so allergic to scoring that they even missed a penalty on injury time with 0-0 on the scoreboard.
In contrast, KuPS’ kryptonite – Ilves should really trademark this, like seriously – from Tampere played to fairly poor games against the same teams. The difference being the results; two 2-0 wins and Ilves are once again a serious team fighting for the last European spot.
Perhaps megalomania took its toll on KuPS because the excuses for the latest results have been poor. Fatigue would be a self-harming factor to hide behind, since KuPS have more depth than most of its league rivals.
Nevertheless, Ilves have – still – won all of their Veikkausliiga games against KuPS since their return to the top-flight division. Away or home, Ilves are always strong against KuPS.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Ilves 0.00
SJK v TPS
SJK played a crucial derby against VPS before the break. Their new head coach Alexey Eremenko sr. had stressed the importance of creating a positive atmosphere in the club, although the initial results did not help that process at all.
Perhaps that is the reason why SJK players and fans celebrated a 1-1 draw weirdly wildly. Their rivals could hardly see it as a moral win for SJK, more as a moral defeat for themselves, failing to utilize SJK’s several vulnerabilities.
One of them has been the long list of injured players, which should finally start to shorten. The team spirit is professedly positive, which I consider as a bigger factor for SJK’s season.
Although the home team’s trend in the light of results is not admirable, their guests have nothing more to brag about. TPS had an excruciating goalless draw home against KuPS, where they missed a penalty in the final minutes. The issues with scoring are only piling up and with failing such a clear chance to put things right, the valley is starting to become too deep to get out of.
Unfortunate for TPS, their relegation rivals Kemi are progressing and were in a clearly better form before the break. TPS themselves have shown no signs of development, and I have a hard time seeing how this would have changed during the days off. SJK have a solid chance to start a new, positive phase for 2018 by exploiting a desperate visitor.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: SJK -0.25 at 1.710
Arguably the most anticipated football showdown worldwide is about to conquer later this week, here’s a football feature for the Players you need to keep an eye on!