HJK v VPS
HJK have had some unfortunate additional minutes in their two last fixtures. First, they were close to get a hugely important victory at Tammela against Ilves thanks to the opening goal by Riku Riski, who was assisted by Akseli Pelvas who has so far, been the best central striker for HJK this season.
However, besides that, HJK never threatened their hosts save for the wide-open chance Evans Mensah received with 10 minutes left. Sadly, for the reigning champions, the Ghanaian is a horrible finisher.
Despite the equalizer coming from a very suspicious penalty, HJK should be content with the draw. As I have said earlier, HJK’s defense is still erroneous, and was close to lead to an earlier Ilves goal several times. Maxim Rudakov was, once again, the man between the posts and made a few game savers.
What might or might not be worth mentioning is the fact, that, it was the new forward signing Tim Väyrynen who caused the penalty. Besides him, the other new recruit, William Parra made at least a decent show in his debut in the midfield.
VPS far from signing any new players, which they would be in a dire need of. However, as far as I have understood, they will see a familiar face rather soon coming in on a loan spell.
In their last game against FC Lahti, VPS were actually good and so close to grabbing their first full three points for the season. However, Lahti did what Lahti do, that is, score once from an opponent err or through pure luck, and concede fewer goals than expected.
HJK conceded another late goal as they lost 2-0 at Red Star Belgrade. It is not a good sign for their hopes to advance, and to be honest, that was definitely a just result. Despite the European campaign still going on, I see HJK as huge favorites here.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: HJK -1.00 at 1.710
RoPS v FC Inter
RoPS really showed at Telia5g Arena as HIFK’s guests why exactly they are just above the negative qualification zone, and why HIFK deserved to climb up from that spot.
The visitors had one solid chance right in the beginning of the match, however, poor finishing and poor luck saw the ball only hit the upper bar. Poor finishing is nothing RoPS can really afford, as they get so seldomly to better scoring chances.
The offensive quality of RoPS is the main reason I would say that the Lapland team is so far down in the table. Timo Stavitski did basically nothing during his loan spell that was more a rehab spell than anything else. Aleksandr Kokko is nothing to count on either due to his injury issues. Thus, it is Youness Rahimi that RoPS have to rely on, who, with all due respect, is just way too little go for offensively.
I expected Inter’s fine 2-0 win against Brøndby to cost them three points at home against Honka last weekend. However, Inter showed great form during the hectic weeks. They were only one goal from advancing against a far bigger team and beat a well-rested table rival by a fair margin.
Still, I am a bit worried about how dependent Inter’s offense is of the Slovenian superstar Filip Valencic. The striker has scored 13 goals in 16 matches and is for that reason rumored to leave Turku and Veikkausliiga. It is safe to say that this man was the reason behind Inter’s win against Honka, as he scored once and assisted twice.
However, as he at the moment is still with Inter, and their opponents are of a far lower quality, I see Inter continuing their fine stroll.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: FC Inter -0.25 at 1.790
KPV v KuPS
If SJK-VPS was an equal derby, the same cannot be said about KPV-SJK. Sure, the score ended for the visitors favor only by 1-2, and KPV had an offside goal, but SJK had much more of the game under their control.
More or less the complete first half made SJK look like the far superior side, which they really are not that much, and KPV only got into the game for maybe 30 minutes in the second half.
Just like RoPS, KPV are forced to rely in offense on individuals of far too low quality, even though Simo Roiha managed to find the net with his equalizing goal. KPV might have gotten rid of the bonanza aggressive pressure, however, there is so much more needed to fix to avoid finishing in the bottom.
In contrast to IFK Mariehamn a few years back in the Champions League qualifications, KuPS did not make the whole Finnish nation ashamed against Legia Warsaw.
The Polish giants took an early lead from a corner, and for a few more minutes it looked like it would be a rough night for Jani Honkavaara’s lads. However, KuPS took control of the game right before the half-hour mark and managed to keep their hosts away from major threat zones.
KuPS lost an important midfielder in the very final minutes, as Ville Saxman had to leave the field injured. Even though the box-to-box midfielder has been one of the most important pieces of Honkavaara, the quality in KuPS squad is far superior to their hosts in Kokkola.
Honkavaraa spared some legs as he took off Lucas Rangel, and Tuco Ngueukam got only about 20 minutes on the field. Thus, KuPS have a fierce offensive arsenal at use in Kokkola.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: KuPS -0.25 at 1.820
Preview by: @konformisten.