JJK v KuPS

To start off, yes, JJK did get their first win of the season last round against Ilves. That Ilves who were supposed to be in top shape and ready for a European finish this season, based on their cup form. We’ll get back to you, Ilves. Anyway, I don’t want to put too much light on JJK’s win. The chances JJK created weren’t pure class, instead, it was Gaël Etock who was.

KuPS did the job in Rovaniemi, where the hosts were once again unworthy a single point. Nevertheless, it took KuPS nearly full 90 minutes to score the game deciding goal. They possess a solid firepower, which hasn’t exactly shown on the scoresheet, however. Still, they are unbeaten in five games, winning four of them.

It’s a while since KuPS took a huge W, 1-4 at Kemi, which also started their unbeaten run. Of those five teams their run builds on, Kemi are the most similar to JJK. Considering JJK’s defensive style, KuPS physicality in set pieces and overrunning tactics, I think KuPS are overlooked here.

Finally, there’s this minor thing. KuPS demolished JJK 9-1 in January. It’s not like JJK made huge signings after that, in fact, they just lost Elias Ahde back to SJK, as his loan-term ended. Godspeed, JJK.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: KuPS -0.75 at 1.925

Ilves v PS Kemi

So, we’re back to Ilves. I can’t say I recognize this Ilves, and I believe many others do neither. It must be some other team in disguise, or maybe this is who Ilves really are?

It’s foremost the stability that’s vanished all away, and it was stability which made Ilves previous season so great. Looking at results it’s been a ride in a rollercoaster so far, and a more detailed look gives the same picture. They have a 2-0 win at VPS and a 3-0 home win against IFK Mariehamn, two completely tactical opposites. However, at HJK they looked like a second-tier team and most recently, they lost to bloody JJK.

Ilves defense has become an absolute mess, with amateurish organization inside the 16-area and some easy goals conceded by Mika Hilander. You’d imagine that a goalie who gained a few national caps during the past two years should keep his level stable, even if the defense in front of him is not.

Kemi’s form has been lousy since four points from the two first games, don’t get me wrong. However, they’ve lost big time only against opponents who have a lot physique up front; IFK Mariehamn and KuPS.

Ilves aren’t known for scoring by force, more by fast-paced and overwhelming counter-attacks, which Kemi should know better not to give an opportunity to.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: PS Kemi +1 at 1.810

VPS v HIFK

Things haven’t gotten a lot better for HIFK since the last preview. Scoring is still an issue, the financial situation is awkwardly insecure, and the results aren’t turning to wins. The win against RoPS and a 1-1 draw against IFK Mariehamn are the sole bright spots of the season.

The home side are in the quite opposite seat. A third place in the table has finally gained Petri Vuorinen and his company in VPS staff the recognition they deserve. Their six games long unbeaten run was cut by Ilves. The home defeat was mostly just unfortunate, as Ilves first goal came from a horrible pass backwards, which was easily intercepted and finished by Tendeng.

It was a simple statistical loss, which happen in football, just in the same way that they won HJK. In other words, there’s little to worry about in VPS at the moment. The small squad was questioned prior to the season, but so far, it’s not been that big of an issue. The much-anticipated addition of midfielder Ebrima Sohna brings some defensive help to the team.

The most fascinating contrast in this matchup is the goal ratio. VPS have scored and conceded the second most, whilst HIFK have scored fewest and conceded third least.

Albeit HIFK possess the respectably low sum of ten allowed goals in nine matches, I can’t see their defense being an issue for VPS. Neither do I expect them to suddenly find a way to score, unless VPS give them the opportunity to. But in those games they have, VPS have outscored the opponent for the most.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: VPS -0.5 at 2.090

Prices correct at time of writing.

By Petteri Räisänen – @konformisten from @FootballUtd

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