As the two top sides, HJK and VPS, advanced to the second qualifying round of Europa League, it’s tempting to more or less officially declare the becoming champion and runner-up already at this point. SJK showed no signs of improvement against a poor Icelandic KR Reykjavik, who knocked them out with a 2-0 win in Finland. IFK Mariehamn is yet to pop their European season, but we all know how that’s about to go since they are facing Polish giants Legia Warsaw.
Inter v JJK
It’s true that Inter’s form is horrible, claiming only one victory in the last five games and losing the third spot for a sixth. However, it’s a tight table below HJK, and virtually every team will have their deep dive(s).
Since they are facing JJK, Inter has an outstanding opportunity to end their four games long winless streak and maybe even build up the false hopes of a winning streak. Side note: they haven’t had a winning streak yet with Shefki Kuqi.
Winning streaks and the lack of them aside, JJK is a terrible team whose morale is about to run out, if it already hasn’t. In some games, it seems like they don’t even bother trying – which I know isn’t true, but it just looks like that – while in some games they get the surprising first goal, only to collapse completely in the second half and lose by a clear margin. Hopeless.
Inter’s offensive caliber is huge. When Timo Furuholm and Njazi Kuqi have failed scoring, young gun Benjamin Källman has stepped up. Albeit the rotten apples in Inter’s squad and the lack of organization thanks to coach Kuqi, there should be no problem for Inter to annihilate the lousy foxes.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Inter -1.5 at 2.020
KuPS v PS Kemi
In the previous clash between the two Palloseura-teams, KuPS destroyed Kemi away by 1-4 despite a partially malfunctioning game. This also made KuPS look like a serious contender for the second spot, but those days are long gone now.
It’s incredibly typical for KuPS to start the season well, sometimes even by trailing the leaders by only a point or two. However, in June something miraculous happens, and it seems impossible for the yellow kits to win. They’re experiencing the same symptoms this year, despite bringing in a new coach.
Ironically, there’s a similarity to Kemi’s recent trend. Although the Kings had a four-game losing streak in May, they turned the fashion to a five games long unbeaten run. Filip Valencic was smoking hot and nearly the sole reason to Kemi’s fine streak.
The problem is that now he’s made a name of himself, just like Billy Ions and Erik Törnros before him, causing extra man marking. The scoring abilities of the rest of the squad are debatable, to say the least.
Oh, did I start speaking of scoring problems? How about KuPS then. Gbolahan Salami is still suspended, and until they’ve officially signed Vahid Hambo, or whoever, KuPS are gonna have a bad time.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: PS Kemi +1 at 1.920
RoPS v HIFK
So, JJK is by far damned back to Ykkönen, with no reason for coming back in a while. But there’s potential for a sweet battle for the qualifying, next-to-last, spot, which HIFK possess at the moment.
This will be the 16th fixture of the season for both teams, meaning they’re reaching halfway of the campaign. If HIFK can’t win, they’ll have 13 points with a draw and a dozen with a loss, which is awfully close to way too little. A draw, however, wouldn’t be catastrophic as RoPS wouldn’t at least extend the gap between the two.
In other words, it’s a crucial game for both sides, especially the visitors. HIFK is set for a good chance to climb closer to RoPS and into security from JJK, as RoPS sold their offensive soul in Robert Taylor.
Taylor, who left for AIK – which he, by the way, isn’t even close enough ready for – leaves a heavy load on Saku Ylätupa, a youngster who arrived this offseason from HJK. Taylor was barely mature enough to take the offensive duties of RoPS, so Ylätupa will have way too much to carry. He’s already shown to play unstable, which is not favorable for someone whom the team will be relying on.
For RoPS pleasure, HIFK is offensively still a bloody henhouse, lacking concrete ideas how to create scoring chances. Early crosses aren’t one, which they’ve tried on basically all season long.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Under 2.5 at 1.645
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