TPS Turku v KuPS
TPS negative spiral continued away at Tammela against Ilves. Ilves did not need to do anything special, much like VPS in their 0-1 away win at TPS, simply because TPS are so poor.
Canadian goalkeeper Jonathan Viscosi, who had been somewhat shaky recently, hurt his finger and is likely to miss the match against KuPS. He was replaced by youngling Miikka Mujunen, whose league career with TPS got a sad start. The opening goal was a gift from Mujunen and he continued by showing bad nerves.
The rest of the squad is proving to be far from league quality. The starting eleven, if fully fit, is decent, although worse than basically any opponent’s starting troops. The finishing skills against Ilves could have been straight from a film by the Marx brothers. Overall, it was another tragic performance by TPS.
In addition to TPS own struggles, their main relegation rivals PS Kemi grabbed a shocking win at KuPS. Albeit it was an embarrassment for KuPS, it was just a bump on the road.
Rasmus Karjalainen has been flaming hot, scoring 10 goals in as many matches earning a call to the national squad. Alfredo Morelos, who was signed by Rangers from HJK, scored 11 goals in 12 matches. I’m just sayin’…
In addition to Karjalainen, KuPS have plenty of offensively hot players, ensuring an exceptional depth. The defeat against Kemi raises the odds for KuPS, which we will gladly accept. There lies an insane value in an away win here.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: KuPS -0.50 at 1.990
VPS v SJK
I went through SJK’s managerial change in my last preview, concluding that the problem lies somewhere else than in coaching. And the results support that so far. A 1-1 draw at home against IFK Mariehamn was not much to cheer for but the big break came Tuesday in Helsinki.
HJK have beaten SJK six games in a row with a goal difference 20-0. However, in the last game which ended 4-0, it was not only a question about a mentally difficult opponent, there was a clear gap in quality, too.
Former Brighton & Hove Albion striker Vahid Hambo and offensive midfielder Paul Emile Tendeng were subbed due to injuries, adding the injury tally to over 10 players. Especially the winger section is taking a big hit here, as we saw reserve players like Joona Lautamaja starting at HJK.
The new coach Alexey Eremenko sr. told in his first press conference with the club how he plans to focus on creating a positive atmosphere first through the practice field and then through matches. So far it looks like a much tougher plan than what he might have expected.
In the end, their hosts for Friday are not in that much better trend. VPS have not won since TPS away, drawing thrice and losing once. The home team is similarly suffering from injuries. Wingback Jesper Engström, center back El-Hadji Ciss, and offensive key players Joonas Vahtera & Steven Morrissey are at least ruled out from the derby.
Although SJK are ankles deep in trouble, honestly not that much more is speaking for a home victory. A heavy away defeat sank the odds for VPS but their relatively poor record against SJK and injuries is keeping me away from a home victory.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: SJK 0.50 at 1.720
IFK Mariehamn v FC Inter
These two clubs share much in common this season. Both are destined to finish a position or two above the relegation zone, and you never know what to expect from neither side, except that they will never play full 90 minutes well.
Mariehamn were quite lucky to even get a 1-1 draw at SJK who had just changed manager. It is not like SJK deserved a win as they blew so many chances but Mariehamn had little to show.
The same issues are still bothering the islanders. Their defense looks like a row of dinguses, and despite their only collective strength is set pieces in offense, defending them is stunningly awkward. Mariehamn really should be down there with Kemi and TPS but Aleksei Kangaskolkka has saved his club some crucial points.
Inter’s demoralizing 3-0 loss at HJK got a shocking response home against RoPS. The guests took an early 0-2 lead but Inter bounced surprisingly back to take a 3-2 advantage only to lose it to a draw in the final minutes.
Nevertheless, Inter have shown both deeper lows and higher tops, which in the long run should give a higher finish than Mariehamn. However, in this match I do not dare to expect an away win. Goals, on the other hand, we should see in a clash between an unorganized home side and a spontaneous away team.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.50 at 1.950
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