September 16, 2016

Veikkausliiga Asian Handicap Preview – Friday 16th September

The last Asian Handicap bet gave us a win and a half win at good value thanks Eastbridge.

Now, let’s focus on how to improve from that. Friday night lights at a Veikkausliiga stadium on a breezy fall evening is one of those moments you need to experience live.

The end of the season is getting closer and the brutal darkness with only a couple of Celsius degrees is melancholic, yet romantic.

Inter v HJK

Not a big surprise, Inter’s crucial game against HIFK for survival was an unstable performance, to put it nicely. Midfielder Bayram Nebihi got a stupid red card, something characteristic for Shefki Kuqi’s players. By elbowing an opponent, which killed the slight advantage Inter had in the game. A scoreless draw pleased neither side but at least it wasn’t a catastrophe for Inter.

Which HJK’s game against FC Lahti was in every sense. Sure, the rivalry has lost a lot of its glory. With the presence of HIFK in Veikkausliiga and the supporter group of Lahti that is close to extinct. However, symbolically, a 1-4 loss at home against a Lahti who hadn’t won a single game away so far. Released the guillotine and sliced the last bit of patience HJK supporters had for coach Lehkosuo.

Striving for redemption by claiming back the title, HJK made it so much more difficult for themselves. Lum Rexhepi showed once again that he has nothing whatsoever to do in a Finnish top team. While several others showed no heart to play for the blue and white stripes. Which, one could say, Rafinha and Nikolai Alho, who tried stomp a Lahti player as if he’d get wine out of him. Did by truly showing frustration over the score and getting suspended.

In addition to the previously named players, fullback Roni Peiponen is also suspended. Nigerians on the left wing, Tayë Taiwo and Nnamdi Oduamadi are doubtful, as is Vincent Onovo.

Sure, HJK have some guys out and made an awful game against Lahti, but the light at the end of Inter’s tunnel is so dim. For these odds, I find HJK very much worth a shot.

Asian Handicap Recommendation: HJK -0.5 at 1.96

 

HIFK v PS Kemi

Considering the fact that HIFK didn’t lose points to Inter in the race for league survival. Or more like avoiding the qualification, a 0-0 draw wasn’t disappointing. However, they got almost a full 45 minutes to play with a one-man advantage. The few chances HIFK created were mostly by Aleksi Ristola’s initiative, which is not at all a good sign.

Inter had the best scoring chances through Guy Gnabouyou and Njazi Kuqi. But fortunately for HIFK, goalkeeper Tomi Maanoja is redeeming himself after a painfully awkward season with FC Lahti. Nevertheless, in search for an exit from the qualification zone, Antti Muurinen needs to fix their offensive drought.

Lucky for PS Kemi that they’ve collected enough points to feel safe from relegation. Since their previous games have been far from a joy to watch. In their defense, they faced HJK on home turf and IFK Mariehamn on the island. Nevertheless, their game hasn’t been this much out of shape earlier in the season. Especially what it comes to defense. IFK had the scoring chances for a total slaughter but Kangaskolkka, Span and Orgill felt more like wasting those opportunities than using them for profit.

As Kemi has stayed on the road since Mariehamn, which was on Monday. This game could be a tough one, despite an excellent physio team. However, as I said earlier, the HIFK offense needs to step up if they wish to take advantage of Kemi’s kilometers.

As I see a rather small risk for HIFK to punish Kemi’s defense big time. Combined with a wasteful Kemi offense that is hugely dependent on Swedish loanee Erik Törnros, an under play is lucrative for a nice profit.

Asian Handicap Recommendation: Under 2.25 at 2.07

 

SJK v IFK Mariehamn

SJK kept their lifeline for the top 4 through a late brace from free kick by new signing Billy Ions. A 1-1 draw against RoPS was the least they could leave Lapland with some hope left for the rest of the season.

They had a good few scoring chances but RoPS goalie Reguero, whom I concider to be one of the 3 best signings in Veikkausliiga this year, was on fire and stopped some fierce shots. Fortunate for SJK, he took a step in the wrong direction as Ions placed his free kick in Reguero’s side of the goal.

However, that doesn’t tell the whole truth about RoPS-SJK. The home side had also their chances, and were clearly disappointed on conceding a late equalizer.

IFK Mariehamn, on the other hand, had no trouble in taking full 3 points home against PS Kemi. They had plenty of chances throughout the whole game but found the net only once. It was about to turn faithful in the end, when Kemi got a slight pressure on the islanders.

After the new recruitments and some exits in SJK squad during the August transfer window, the titleholders have found some harmony and control in defense. They don’t concede as often anymore, however, Andorran center back Marc Vales did make a poor decision, which gave RoPS a crucial penalty.

The away team showed high potential in offense against Kemi and proved that HJK can by no means take the title for granted. SJK are highly overvalued here, as IFK Mariehamn is also a very strong away team.

Asian Handicap Recommendation: IFK Mariehamn +0.5 at 2.01

 

Prices correct at time of writing.

By Petteri Räisänen – @konformisten from @FootballUtd

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