With 3 rounds remaining of Veikkausliiga 2018 we have an absolutely cray-cray situation going on between positions 3-5. KuPS, Honka, and Ilves are all three on 49 points, and quite conveniently KuPS will host Ilves this weekend.
PS Kemi v FC Inter
It feels like everyone besides the folks over in Kemi did see this coming. There have been signs for a good while and they have progressively cumulated exponentially to the sad outcome of what we have today in Kemi.
The list is so long that I am not going to go through it all, but I will start with the fact that the club had unpaid taxes already the season they were promoted. Why they were granted a league license is another topic. Fast forward to this season and the ditch became very deep as coach Jari Åhman was fired. Scottish David Hannah has been catastrophic leading to a somewhat amusingly late boycott from the supporters’ club, which was announced earlier this week.
In addition to these farcical scenes, Kemi have announced a public fund collection to avoid bankruptcy. Oh, and they are confirmed to get relegated to Ykkönen. Their fate was officially sealed last round as they took a severe beating at Ilves by 4-0.
FC Inter’s season looked to be over after the few rounds of really great defensive play vanished together with Benjamin Källman’s departure to Dundee. However, it turns out that as both Lahti and VPS are trying their everything to not finish 6th and gain an additional home game for next year, Inter is suddenly a hot candidate to take over that position.
The great defending is not back though, as last round they drew 1-1 against IFK Mariehamn who are trying to avoid the qualifiers against potential promotees. It was an even match with some solid scoring chances on both sides, but it was Inter who could have taken full 3 points.
Kemi are so pathetic right now that I would bet against them even if they faced FC Lahti. Inter should have no problem winning against an already relegated team.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: FC Inter -0.50 at 1.760
KuPS v Ilves
KuPS broke their negative spell against Ilves earlier this season as they had gone winless against Jarkko Wiss’ side for the whole time Ilves have been back in the top tier. The discrepancy in quality between these two clubs is larger than earlier seasons, but I still consider Jarkko Wiss a better coach than Jani Honkavaara.
As Honka could not beat their neighboring rivals HJK last weekend, both KuPS and Ilves took their chances and landed on equal points with the Espoo based club. KuPS did it by humiliating VPS in Vaasa, where the hosts have been atrocious more or less under the whole period Petri Vuorinen has been coaching.
VPS were not a tough side to break as it is clear that players who are leaving the club in November are not playing, which includes key player Juha Hakola. The mentally weakened side were crushed efficiently by KuPS, however, with some help from VPS goalkeeper Samu Volotinen.
In the meantime, Ilves had fun at the behalf of earlier mentioned PS Kemi. Issa Thiaw and Ilari Mettälä scored once again, which is great news for Ilves after they sold their top striker Marius Noubissi to Belgium.
As both sides come off easy victories, I would say that they lie on the same starting line prior to this match. KuPS are a bit too heavily favored in this matchup, which is the reason why I recommend a bet on the visiting team.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Ilves 0.75 at 1.860
IFK Mariehamn v FC Lahti
Although IFK Mariehamn managed to get only one point at Inter last round, they should be keen with it and look brightly on the remaining schedule. TPS and SJK, the teams they compete against for survival, have a remarkably tougher schedule.
Simon Silverholt’s equalizer against Inter may have been a mistake or at least a very, very lucky chip, and the defense may have been the same load of crap as usual, but they did create a fair amount of chances.
So, Mariehamn are clearly spirited by the table situation, which cannot be said about their guests. Remember how much I have bashed FC Lahti for their European campaign? Well, they just might have embarrassed themselves even worse last weekend. TPS put up a party in Lahti as they demolished their hosts by 2-5. I can only think of VPS underperforming like that against TPS this year.
Henceforth, the FC Lahti board decided to react by firing Toni Korkeakunnas. Which would have been fine if a) there was not three rather meaningless rounds left, and b) he had a contract for next year. Korkeakunnas was already leaving the club so that was a very odd decision to take.
Kemi might be the team I would bet against no matter whom they face but FC Lahti are right behind them. Ironically, Lahti’s previous win in Veikkausliiga was against IFK Mariehamn, but that was over 2 months ago and IFK Mariehamn are breathing some new air now.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: IFK Mariehamn -0.50 at 2.000
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