FF Jaro v IFK Mariehamn – The Swedish battle
The two classical Swedish-speaking teams of Veikkausliiga’s modern history are set to clash in Pietarsaari. While IFK Mariehamn are keeping up a tiny, if any, hope of reaching a European spot, home team Jaro are in the oh-so-familiar relegation battle.
Jaro coach Alexey Eremenko (father of CSKA Moscow star Roman) is confident of his team’s quality, which may sound bizarre to most of us. However, some of his confidence roots from their experience in relegation battles. Jaro has been tipped countless times to get relegated, but always managed to survive.
Respective teams played an impressive game on Sunday. Mariehamn had no trouble winning 3-1 against Ilves in Tammela, while Jaro were close to grabbing a shocking win against HJK (1-1).
Johan Brunell and Jonas Emet of the home team are ruled out for the season. IFK’s Diego Assis is suspended.
IFK Mariehamn had a long spell, exceeding 500 minutes since a goal scored from open play until last Sunday, relieving mental pressure. Jaro has fought hard to grab 2 points against top teams RoPS and HJK. The home team is on a good drive with morale boosting points, IFK on the other hand are on the road, which will be exhausting.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: FF Jaro -0.25
HIFK v VPS – Hear the bells ringing, HIFK?
Newcomers HIFK from Helsinki suffered their first home defeat of the season against KuPS, right after Inter broke the home spell of Sonera Stadium by winning HJK 2-0.
The hosts are in an out of form swirl, gaining only one victory from their last 7 games, which was against VPS (3-0). The rarity of 3 full points have drawn HIFK out of nowhere to the tight relegation battle. Despite a stronger squad compared to a fellow newcomer, Ilves, coach Honkavaara hasn’t found an optimal strategy to maximize his side’s potential.
The visitors from Vaasa are on a road trip coming from Turku, where they pulled off a somewhat disappointing 1-1 draw. Of the 4 bottom teams, VPS has made greatest improvements in August’s transfer window. Jamaican striker Andre Clennon seems to be the real deal.
VPS will be without suspended Thomas Kula, which actually might be a blessing. The central midfield has been Vepsu’s weak spot this year. Defenders Isaiah Schafer and Mikko Viitikko are doubtful, as is HIFK striker Tuomas Mustonen.
There has been a clear pattern in VPS’ game under Vuorinen. They tend to play one solid half, while the other, most often the second, is a total mess. Henri Sillanpää is, however, showing why he has a few national caps and will keep the game tidy.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Under 2.5
Ilves v KuPS – Can Ilves bounce back?
Ilves joined HIFK and HJK as their long unbeaten record on home turf ended against IFK Mariehamn. Their previous and only defeat was from May 3rd against RoPS. Despite Mika Lahtinen’s early goal, the visitors weren’t thunderstruck and rolled to a convincing 1-3 away win. Sorry Ilves, but I guess all good things do come to an end.
The last stop in Marko Rajamäki’s rollercoaster ride was at HIFK, whom they beat 3-1. KuPS sealed the game during first half by scoring all of their 3 goals, winger/defender Tuomas Rannankari being in an exceptional form.
KuPS defender Stephen McCarthy is a doubt, but Juha Hakola has finally made a recovery after a nasty injury. Several players are doubts for Ilves, including captain Hynynen, defenders Aho and Koskinen as well as striker Ugwunna.
Being on the road is tough and goal form disappears as fast as it appears for KuPS. Ilves have some trouble with injuries, but are nonetheless still a strong home team.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Ilves +0.25
Prices correct at time of writing.
Join Eastbridge Soccer Betting Broker today for all your Veikkausliiga betting.