SJK v HJK – Are HJK a piece of a cake for SJK? – 15:00
Veikkausliiga giants HJK are going towards a catastrophic season. A bitter last minute exit in Champions League qualifications was followed by a humiliating defeat against Krasnodar in Europa League’s last qualifying stage. No European games isn’t enough for a fiasco, but the league prestige is the final ingredient for such recipe.
There seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel either. HJK’s physio and medical team are under hard critique, as the injury list could put up a solid starting eleven. In their previous game against RoPS, HJK had to make all their three substitutions during the first half..
Defensive fortress of SJK slipped with 0-1 at KTP, but managed to turn the game in their favor, gaining a 2-1 victory. Comparing with HJK there are huge contrast: a strong collective defensive play and a season with very few injuries.
As the injury list for HJK is so long, I may as well list their likely line-up, which in fact looks quite good. Dähne, Peiponen, Heikkilä, Baah, Taiwo, Klinga, Schüller, Atom, Kolehmainen, Savage, Kandji. Doesn’t actually look at all bad, but several players have played huge amount of minutes lately.
SJK have a quality defense and HJK are in a tight corner. Last chance for the reigning champions to bounce back, or we’ll have a new league winner for the first time since 2008.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: SJK -0.75 at 2.69
FF Jaro v KuPS – Will Jaro pull KuPS to relegation battle? – 16:30
Losing twice against Ilves might not have seemed as anything woeful in Kuopio, however there’s a slight risk for getting involved in the relegation battle. Only 7 points separate these teams, Jaro lying at qualifiers’ spot. Similar to Ilves, KuPS will meet Jaro twice in a row. Losing both games pulls KuPS suddenly to a tight spot.
Meanwhile Jaro traveled to Vaasa for a boiling Ostrobothnian derby. Home team managed to grab a 2-1 win despite Jaro dominating possession. However, as we know possession statistics seldom tell the truth. Jaro had trouble creating good chances, and those few they got weren’t exploited.
FF Jaro are missing Reginaldo Jr. due to suspension. KuPS’ Hamed Coulibaly is out for the same reason after getting two doubtful bookings against Ilves.
If Jaro has trouble scoring, so does KuPS as well. Both coaches, Eremenko senior and Rajamäki, prefer controlling the game no matter are they playing home or away. Neither team can’t optimize the possession when facing a defensive team. However, when these two offensive teams clash, I see chance for more goals.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Over 2.5 goals at 2.15
HIFK v KTP – Additional anxiety in Kotka? – 16:30
After two consecutive home defeats, HIFK looked to be on a slippery road what it comes to avoiding relegation. An away game at a defensively strong FC Lahti was considered to be a tough contest, as HIFK have struggled with scoring lately. To everyone’s surprise Honkavaara’s lads totally crushed Lahti by 5-0!
KTP under Saku-Pekka Sahlgren’s short loan spell were strolling away from the relegation zone with a solid defense. HJK called back their goalkeeper and the boys from the docks have low odds for relegation. Goal scoring has been a season-long trouble, too much circulating around Tamas Gruborovics and too few goals from other individuals.
Home team will play without central back Pauli Kuusijärvi, who is still suspended after a red card against VPS. KTP’s Ville Oksanen reached the yellow card limit.
A morale boosting away win eases the pressure to return home to correct the bad spell for HIFK. KTP has barely anything going for them.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: HIFK -0.25 at 1.40
Prices correct at time of writing.
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