April 23, 2016

Veikkausliiga Asian Handicap Preview – Sunday 24th April

RoPS v PK-35 Vantaa

Last season’s runners-up Rovaniemen Palloseura travelled to Valkeakoski on Thursday and despite starting with a strong XI, Malinen’s team took the night train home after an awkward 4-1 loss to a second-tier team. Goalie Ricardo got hurt around the 20th minute of the first half and was replaced by the inexperienced Juhani Kangas.

PK-35, on the contrary, are making a successful run in the cup. Home team Inter were huge favorites against Vantaa who are struggling with both suspensions and injuries. Nevertheless, Shefki Kuqi read every single bit of Job Dragtsma’s tactical plan and ran over the hosts winning 4-0.

Both teams are in deep trouble with their goalkeeper situation. As if Ricardo’s injury wasn’t enough, second choice Tyler Back is still out due to a hurt groin. PK-35, on the other hand, went with a clearly higher risk into the season, relying only on one keeper, Daniel Kollar, who is suspended. Teenager Samu Volotinen will guard PK’s goal in Rovaniemi. Njazi Kuqi’s suspension was extended with a further 5 games, captain Kim Raimi is coming closer to a return from an injury.

A humiliated home team with an inexperienced goalie faces a morale-boosted visiting team with as well an inexperienced keeper. PK-35 might give a proper fight in Rovaniemi, but all the signs are pointing towards a game rich in goals

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Over 2.5 @ 1.89

 

IFK M v HJK

Reigning cup champions IFK Mariehamn took an early lead at home against Lahti thanks to goaltender Tomi Maanoja’s howler. However, the visitors bounced back and extended the game to extra time. A tired home team allowed Lahti to score rather early in extra time and never really had the energy to even the score again.

League favorites HJK had an unnecessarily rough away trip to Kajaani, a third-tier team. The cup-tie went all the way to extra time, where HJK could finally mark the differences in quality. A 5-1 win wouldn’t be bad at all, if it weren’t for the additional 30 minutes played in overtime.

While Diego Assis and Dever Orgill are performing exceptionally well for IFK, Aleksei Kangaskolkka has struggled a lot. The islanders have a small squad and barely rotated against Lahti. Meanwhile HJK rotated a lot, but have still a lot to figure out in defense.

Wiklöf-Holding Arena is an easy away field for very few. Mariehamn have impressed in their league matches, but HJK have a better-rested squad, not to mention the higher quality.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Over 2.5 at 2.23

 

HIFK v PS Kemi

Neither team had a cup bourdon this week, as they both were eliminated in earlier rounds. This means a lot especially for Kemi, who can prepare properly for the league fixture down south. In fact, they refused to accept SJK’s spot in the cup-tie against VPS, who played with unregistered players against Kemi in the earlier round,.

HIFK’s games have been plagued with instability during the 90 minutes. While they let Inter grab a late 1-2 win home at Sonera Stadium, HIFK in turn scored a late equalizer at Lahti. In other words, a lot seems to be the same from last season. However, this year’s offense, thanks to Juho Mäkelä, is a lot sharper, whilst the collective defense has made perhaps more mistakes than earlier.

Last year’s star striker for Kemi, Sasa Jovovic, left the promotees for second-tier EIF. The Serb won’t be missed too much, since the northerners impress in offense. In fact, thus far they have been relying too much on their offensive arsenal, as they are still struggling to keep a defensive stronghold. Additionally, the visitors are heavily rumored to be in search for a goalkeeper.

Despite the modest amount of points Kemi has managed to grab, their play hasn’t been that bad. HIFK seem still to be looking for their league routine, which allows every opponent to strike a couple of times per match.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Over 2.5 @ 1.98

Prices correct at time of writing.

By Petteri Räisänen – @konformisten from @FootballUtd

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