With six rounds left of Veikkausliiga season 2017, HJK has practically secured their first title since 2014. However, there’s still a lot to play as positions 2-6 are separated only by five points. Additionally, there’s a desperate fight for survival at the bottom of the table.
PS Kemi v VPS
As the season gets near to its end, with good luck we might enjoy of exciting races to European qualifiers or salvation from relegation. However, what needs no luck and is virtually unavoidable, are the handful of clubs in the grey zone. No fear of relegation, no hope of a meaningful position.
Both teams find themselves in such a seat, although there’s a marginal risk of relegation playoffs for Kemi. Now, that’s strictly speaking of their position in the league table. What it comes to form and general state of the club, VPS are lying, deep down.
Last round Kemi made a trip to the Åland Islands to visit the reigning champions IFK Mariehamn. Although they had no points to bring home after a 3-2 loss, there was plenty of positive signs in Kemi’s performance. Two goals against an opponent that is rather unfitting for them brightened up some lights for the remaining season. However, the conceded goals came cheaply.
Speaking of cheap goals, VPS offered KuPS an away win on a silver plate. A 75th-minute opening goal looked promising for Vepsu, but during a catastrophic 5-minute period, they lost it all. A 1-3 defeat in the end, knocked out all sense of everyone in VPS.
VPS offense has struggled some during the 10 games they’ve gone winless, but a shaky Kemi defense shouldn’t be strong enough to keep a clean sheet. Shutting the opposition has been a distant dream for VPS for a good while, so a high-scoring game is very likely in my opinion.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Over 2.5 at 2.090
KuPS v HIFK
After a six games long winless streak in early summer, KuPS have won 7 of their 12 last games. In Veikkausliiga, the sacred league of draws, those wins carry a high value. Only league leaders HJK have more wins.
Although Jani Honkavaara’s KuPS hasn’t exactly impressed me, they’ve shown immense mental strength by grabbing a great amount of very late victories. The final minutes also characterize KuPS physical advantage, not least in set pieces, which have for long been their specialty.
Meanwhile, HIFK has, even more, to play for than their hosts, as a direct relegation would most likely drive the club to bankruptcy. It’s nothing that can be seen in the players in a positive sense, in fact, quite the contrary. The lack of morale is painstakingly visible in every match, and I can’t help wondering if the bankruptcy is even closer than any of us had imagined.
Although a home win is an absolute no-brainer here, I see a good value in placing a bet on an under game. A goal from HIFK would surprise me, so a no on BTS is also worth at least a thought. Additionally, more than three goals from any Veikkausliiga team happens rarely.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Under 2.5 at 1.980
JJK v FC Inter
If names on the squad list were all that mattered – or more importantly, if Inter wasn’t straight out of the Flying Circus – this match would be another among others in the series titled David vs Goliath.
Everything – and I really mean every single thing – in JJK is below Veikkausliiga standards. The squad, the coach, the stadium, the office, you name it. But somehow they’re very close to finishing the season with a great escape from a direct relegation. In the last 10 games form table, JJK is in a respectable 7th position, their visitors lying next to last.
There’s neither any sign of improvement for Inter, and even less of a reason for that. The season has been a disaster from the very beginning, starting from an idiotic extension for Shefki Kuqi as the coach, only to be fired after way too long. What’s left is a bunch of mercenaries, and a handful of guys who actually care, if not for the club’s pride, but at least for their own personal.
Meanwhile, in JJK the situation couldn’t be more different. For these guys another season in the league means the world to them, as there’s barely a chance any other league club would want them, nor can JJK afford to replace them.
I can’t foresee how exactly JJK could beat Inter, other than Inter’s defense stinking big time. A 1-6 home defeat against FC Lahti in the previous round is just plain awful. Meaning, even a JJK can strike once or twice.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: JJK 0.5 at 1.775
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