Veikkausliiga Round 11 Preview

IFK Mariehamn v Tampere United

IFK have a fearsome injury list, but despite that they looked quite solid at Haka last week. Ingves, Ochieng, J. Carlsson, Norrmen, Sjölund, Blomberg, Binnion, Isaksson and Överström are all out, but their remaining players seem to be coping okay. Most importantly, their tough centre backs seem well equipped to deal with the all new, lump-it-up-to-the-big-man Tampere United. TamU will start with Henri Myntti up front, and we will see if his good form can be maintained against a physical Veikkausliiga team. Left back Aalto and winger Scheweleff are missing for TamU, the first leaves a big whole for Saarinen to attempt to fill while the second has barely played this year.

FC Haka v FC Lahti

I’m looking forward to this one, as it is usually a keenly fought game. Last year Berat Sadik and Rafael led a brilliant counter-attacking smash and grab raid to come away with a 2-1 win. Having lost Muurinen and Sadik, I’ll be impressed if they pull the same off again, but coach Ilkka Mäkelä is a former Haka player and has a lot of friends in Valkeakoski. He won’t want to be embarrassed, and hopefully the game will be quite feisty. Nikkila and Strandvall are out for Haka, Vanninen for Lahti.

MyPa v KuPS

KuPS really need a win after a couple of narrow defeats have left them five points adrift of safety. They were unlucky at TamU, and I expect them to play the same kind of defensive, counter-attacking game at MyPa. Provided they’re not too demoralised after the home loss to Honka, they could put up stiff resistance. On the other hand, MyPa are unbeaten in 12 and on the fringes of the European places. Even with Juho Nykänen, Kuami Agboh, Hugo Miranda and Aleksei Kangaskolkka all out, they should beat KuPS.

FC Honka v FC Inter

Inter are having something of a wobble, or as much of a wobble as a team who haven’t lost a game this season can be said to be having a wobble. Wobble isn’t really the word. Blip? Hiccup? None of those quite cover it either. They’ve conceded last minute equalisers in the last two games, coach Job Dragtsma thinks they need to improve their concentration, and now they are without influential midfielder Dominic Chatto for a tricky away game in Espoo after he picked up a booking against TamU to get a suspension. Both teams try and play football, so it should be an excellent game to watch if you’re in the capital city region tomorrow. Chatto, Furuholm, Seppälä and Corpache are the players out for Inter, with just Koskinen as a doubt for Honka.

RoPS v KTP

What to say about this one? Certain home win. Ikävalko and Okafor are out for KTP, RoPS have a full squad. If results go their way RoPS could be up to 5th place in the table by tomorrow evening.

FF Jaro v VPS

This is a big Ostrobothnian derby. jaro will be looking to bounce back from their cup defeat in Tornio, while VPS will be hoping that Tim Sparv’s return to Halmstad won’t disrupt their good form too much. The best-named Finnish footballer, Antonio Inutile, will be playing for VPS but Ekströmand Tuuri won’t. Saranpää is a doubt. Striker Mikko Hyyrynen is the only player out for Jaro, which leaves a baldy headed hole for some young tyro to fill (there is a ‘hungry young tyro’ factory in Pietersaari, and they do special deals for FF Jaro).

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