Inter Turku v TPS League Cup final preview

Even if Liigacup is not that popular a competition, a final is always a final so I think taking a look at the match is in order.

Because it’s a derby, both teams will be desperate not to lose. They both have a good defence, but Inter might have a slight edge in this department. They have probably the best central defenders in the league in Diego Corpache and Jos Hooiveld.

However, Hooiveld, even if he is probably the best defender in the league could even be benched because it seems he was caught drunk-driving. I am not sure whether Inter will do anything, but I would not be surprised if disciplinary actions were taken.

Left back and captain Henri Lehtonen is probably missing. It will be a big blow for Inter, but I think their defence is still good enough – provided Hooiveld will play.

The TPS defence cannot be underestimated either, although they will be missing the injured central defender Kiko. Ville Lehtonen has been getting better all the time though, and Jarno Heinikangas is also a top 5 defender in the league. Janne Vellamo will most probably play right back and either Estonian international Urmas Rooba or Jani Sarajärvi will be occupying a spot as left back, so the TPS defence is quite OK.
Both teams have excellent goalkeepers. TPS’ Jukka Lehtovaara is already one of the best keepers in the league and so is Patrick Bantamoi at the other end of the pitch.

TPS have a slightly better midfield. Hamza Aït Ouamar will not be playing due to a clash between TPS and his former club about his contract. Kasper Hämäläinen could be missing due to injury. It is not as bad as you could imagine, though. The young Riku Riski will most likely play the attacking role. Simo Valakari, obviously, will play defensive midfield. Chris Cleaver, I think, will also be in the starting XI and do his usual box-to-box type thing.

The Inter midfield is quite dependent on Dominic Chatto. TPS have been quite aggressive, and Inter will be much weaker if TPS get the best of Chatto. Teemu Turunen, who seems to be returning after an injury might also cause problems, but Chatto will be the player to look at.

Ats Purje will probably play on the left wing, because he scored twice as a sub in the semi final against Honka.

Inter’s main problem is the lack of a good scorer. They scored 22 goals in the group stage, but they played in the group that was considered “easier” of the two. They scored four times against Honka, but Honka played their worst game of the season so far (a fact that, of course, does not lower the value of Inter’s achievement at all). Timo Furuholm scored once against Honka, but I heard he also missed too many chances in the game.

The TPS attack has been in lethal form during the pre-season. Armand One will be missing, however, due to a suspension. Mikko Paatelainen should be the striker and he will cause problems, especially because he’s given backup by the dangerous left winger Mika Ääritalo. Sami Rähmönen has played right wing recently and if Kasper Hämäläinen is missing, I see no reason for him not occupying that position.

Odds are slightly against Inter, but they will be up for an upset. The derby spirit might do wonders.
The Veikkaus odds are 2,10 for TPS, 3,10 for a draw after 90 minutes and 2,95 for Inter.

TPS have 184 traveling fans, plus a few coaches full of those who are not so loud supporters. The Inter supporters have collected some 60 names on their list.

The game will air on Urheilukanava, starting at 7 PM Finnish time. A stream should be available here.

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