PS Kemi v VPS
The general consensus concerning the bottom end of the table is that PS Kemi is the only team to actually show improvement along the season. While it might have been true, that was a few rounds ago the improvement took place, now it has stagnated again.
Kemi would need another step forward, because at the moment, they are far away from complete 90 minutes. The Northerners usually play a solid first half, creating chances and keeping it relatively – as in, not really that good but still better than their table rivals – tight backwards. It is in the second half Kemi always runs out of juice and is easily beatable.
In their visit to Mariehamn, Kemi grabbed an early lead through Kevin Mombilo. The guests won easily the first half as the hosts were of no opposition. Then happened the typical Kemi collapse after the halftime break, which required little effort from Mariehamn to take advantage of. Mariehamn probably do not feel like they exactly deserved a win, but Kemi can only blame themselves for letting a crucial away win slide away.
VPS had two excellent performances behind them as they faced league leaders HJK in Helsinki. Instead of a solid challenge against the giants, VPS fell into ruins real fast. Goalkeeper Marko Meerits made another horrible match after a few good games.
Coach Vuorinen told prior to the trip that the squad would take a train instead of bus to Helsinki. This in order to leave Vaasa in the morning of the matchday and instead have a good night sleep in Helsinki after the game before traveling over 700 km to Kemi. The question is whether they could sleep at all after such an embarrassing defeat.
Nevertheless, HJK away has been a weak spot for Vuorinen’s VPS. Poor goalkeeping was demoralizing and after two conceded goals, it’s not easy to have hope at HJK. The pitch is in good shape at Kemi around midsummer, so it will not be an obstacle for VPS in a match that they should handle rather comfortably.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: VPS -0.250 at 1.940
Honka v RoPS
Honka has been in tremendous form lately, gaining 13 points out of 15 possible in their five last games. Although their defense obviously lacks top quality players – their previous clean sheet is from over a month ago against the worst offensive team in the league, TPS – their classy collective offense makes sure it leaves no one cold.
Had they just slightly better defense, Honka would be seriously challenging HJK. The only times they have failed to score happen to be the only times they have kept a clean sheet, which has occurred only twice so far.
Lucas Kaufmann’s – who is having a brilliant season – brace gave Honka a two-goal lead at Inter, however, Inter had had their chances before that. Eventually, Inter did bounce back to 2-2 which is proof of the impurities in Honka defense. A lucky, although a very beautiful, goal from an 89th minute corner saw Honka cruise past again to another victory.
RoPS have been somewhat struggling lately despite good results. A goalless draw against TPS is nothing more than a failure, but it was coming considering a narrow 0-1 win against Kemi and a very undeserved 1-3 win at Mariehamn. Additionally, their 1-0 home win in the very last minute against VPS was very lucky.
However, bringing back home former league winning scorer Aleksandr Kokko is a positive addition to the club that has lost its absolute top form from the beginning of the season. RoPS have a solid defense and the league’s best goalkeeper, so an away point or three is of value in this matchup.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: RoPS 0.50 at 2.040
Ilves v FC Inter
The disciplined collective of Jarkko Wiss, also known as Tampereen Ilves, played an unorthodox away match against SJK last round. They had full control of the first 40 minutes but slipped it away for the following 10, allowing SJK to open the score in the beginning of the second half.
It seemed like it was what required to get Ilves head back in the game, as it only took two minutes for Ilves to reply with a netter. Then it was all about the guests again until they took the lead. Ilves lost their focus once again and SJK bounced back to 2-2. Another wake-up call and Thiaw Issa set the game-winning penalty in the 88th minute.
On home turf it is a whole another story for the lynxes. They kept a clean sheet five matches a row, conceding in total only twice in 7 home matches. In fact, they have not conceded a single goal in Tammela, as they spent the very beginning of the season in exile.
In contrast, Inter have kept a clean sheet only thrice this year. As I’ve written multiple times earlier, the team is broken and thanks to a cup title, there seems to be no interest either to fix it this year.
Inter’s remaining points are heavily reliable on the offensive trio Furuholm, Källman, and Ademi. The defense is nothing to count on, and club icon Mika Ojala is having a horrible season. The right flank with Ojala and Tatu Varmanen as fullback has not found its chemistry, leaving it prone to Eero Tamminen’s flashy moves and explosive acceleration.
The sole reason I do not feel comfortable with a home win is Ilves rather modest goal scoring. In 16 matches they have scored just as many goals and they have scored only in one of their four last home matches. I expect to see a match controlled by Ilves who strive to find the net.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Under 2.50 goals at 1.740