FC Inter v IFK Mariehamn
After winning the cup in April, Inter started downshifting drastically in Veikkausliiga. Pretty much the whole squad looked so uninspiring game after game that many considered them as serious relegation candidates. However, they have won three in row now.
Two of those wins came against top teams, RoPS and Lahti, which shifted Inter into safety from the teams below in table that have started to get their points here and there, too. Most importantly for Inter, they have beaten Kemi, Mariehamn, and SJK albeit playing far from their potential.
In last round’s preview, I pondered that IFK Mariehamn’s transfer window activity would pay off immediately. And so it did. Igor Levchenko is a proper upgrade in the goalkeeping position, which was probably the biggest reason the defense was so unstable. A shaky goalkeeper spreads an insecure aura over the whole team defense.
What IFK Mariehamn did was win at home against an offensively dull SJK by 1-0. Their opponents had more shots on target, although none from good scoring zones. The home side was lucky as they created even less, and Amin Nazari’s winning strike was from at least 25 meters.
Similarly, Inter won with luck at RoPS by 0-1. The Turku side had literally created no chances before Daniel Kamy found the net with about 10 minutes left.
The history between these two clubs tricks one to expect a lot of goals. However, considering the current state of both teams, I would be surprised if that was the case.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Under 2.50 goals at 2.050
Ilves v FC Honka
Ilves went on to an easy win at TPS last round with a brace by Marius Noubissi. The Cameroonian has now scored 9 goals and is rumored to leave Ilves for a bigger club. It would make sense as Ilves got for free former U21 international Mauro Severino from TPS. The striker did not get many minutes under Laurikainen and is looking for a new chance for a breakthrough, and henceforth does not strike as starting striker for Ilves, the timing for the transfer says something.
That is also all we can expect from Ilves in this transfer window, save for selling players. Honka, on the other hand, made another fine addition in Demba Savage, who returned to Espoo after many years. The winger’s career is heavily downshifting, as he made a very tired stint in Turkey. Nonetheless, he surely has still a lot to give for Honka.
Honka’s best signing, however, is by far Macoumba Kandji who has already netted 10 times. This is a crucial difference between Honka and Ilves, besides the obvious tactical ones, that Kandji is a reliable scoring striker, whereas Noubissi spits his goals unevenly.
A 1-2 defeat in a home derby against HJK and a 1-1 draw against a very poor Kemi a few rounds earlier is probably the reason Honka’s odds are so high. Ilves easy win at TPS does not impress me too much, and I still think Ilves will fall clearly behind the top 5.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: FC Honka DNB at 2.030
FC Lahti v PS Kemi
Lahti were quite unlucky on Monday as they only shared the points with their hosts VPS. Brazilian Stenio gave the business city club a very early lead but VPS took eventually over and cruised past in the first half to a 2-1 lead.
The second half was, however, completely under the visitors’ control. Even VPS players have admitted that they were blessed to even get one point against Lahti but on the other hand, it’s Lahti’s own fault they could not take more advantage of the second half.
Which, in the end, is absolutely nothing new about Toni Korkeakunnas’ FC Lahti. Two away goals is actually impressive by Lahti, considering they had done it only twice before this season.
If Lahti were unlucky, then Kemi were the opposite. They pulled off a somewhat miraculous 3-2 home win against a struggling but far mightier KuPS. This means that, suddenly, there is hope again in Kemi and the relegation battle is still wide open.
Now they will have a chance to leave the very bottom of the table, although I do not expect an away win. I do think Lahti will have a hard time finding the net, and Kemi have been a tough bite for Korkeakunnas to chew on. The market favors the home team, and in my opinion, it is way too much.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: PS Kemi 1.50 at 1.710
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