Veikkausliiga Round 14 Preview

Once again, the games start on Saturday and the last one will be played on Wednesday – so if my predictions go wrong as far as Wednesday’s TPS-KuPS is concerned, I’ll blame it on having to write the preview so early.

FF Jaro – Tampere United

This is Saturday’s only game. TamU are probably tired following their trip to Montenegro. Most likely they came back on Thursday, then spent Friday trying to recover and hopped on the bus once again on Saturday morning to make the 300 km trip to Pietarsaari. In addition, Jari Niemi, Mathias Lindström, Tomi Petrescu are missing due to minor injuries, Iiro Aalto and Henri Scheweleff have been out for a while and Henri Myntti is doubtful. Coach Ari Hjelm may also rest some players who have played in the European fixtures. All this will put TamU in a difficult position, but this is professional football and there is no room for complaints.
Jaro are missing Jonas Emet, Vesa Heikinheimo, Toni Junnila and possibly Jimmy Wargh. However, they certainly stand a chance of winning against a TamU squad struggling with injuries.

MyPa – FC Honka

One of the most interesting games of the round. The hosts are second in the league with 25 points while the visitors are occupying the fifth position with 21 points.
MyPa are unbeaten in 11 games and are only missing Aleksei Kangaskolkka and Kuami Agboh. Honka have only one absentee in Nicholas Otaru, so it will be a good game if the injury list is anything to go by.
The game is very difficult to call and a win for either side would not be a surprise. Maybe one should count on MyPa’s great form and home advantage?

HJK – IFK Mariehamn

IFK Mariehamn have not won in nine games and are low on confidence. Their score of five goals in their last ten games is not too impressive. IFK’s injury list will be a bit shorter though, with Paulus Arajuuri, Wilhelm Ingves and Andreas Björk probably returning. On the contrary, Samuel Barlay is banned after being booked one too many times.
HJK have been playing well recently and it seems they can rely on their best squad. Sakari Mattila and Tuomas Aho are doubtful, but other than that HJK are healthy. IFK Mariehamn have more potential than they are showing, but I would say HJK is too much of a challenge for them right now.

FC Haka – VPS

The visitors usually do not concede or score too many goals per game, but TPS came and trashed them last Wednesday. It is interesting to see how VPS have recovered mentally.
VPS are fielding their best squad – Ville Ylinen, Jussi Ekström, Joacim Tuuri and Janne Ahola are out because they join the club’s reserves, VPS-j for the time being. Haka are missing Sebastian Strandvall, Pietari Holopainen is doubtful.
Haka are favourites, but provided VPS can get their act together following their humiliating loss against TPS, the match is going to be an even affair.

RoPS – FC Inter

Inter are still unbeaten in the league, but the hosts have an unbeaten home record.
Ville Nikkari is back for Inter, as well as Patrick Bantamoi, who returns after getting sent off against Honka. Antonio Correia, Arttu Seppälä and Timo Furuholm are still out. Nchimunya Mweetwa is the only absentee for RoPS.
A very difficult game for both sides indeed. Bearing in mind that RoPS are a strong home team and Inter will make a very long trip, I’ll go for a draw or a home win. An away win would not be anything of a surprise, though.

FC Lahti – FC KooTeePee

The guys working at the FC Lahti office can probably add three points to the corresponding column in the league table on their website before they ever watch the game.
FC Lahti are not missing too many players, while Niko Ikävalko, Obinna Okafor, Tommi Vartiainen, Sasha Anttilainen, Tamas Gruborovics, Immo Eronen and Ville Oksanen are missing for KooTeePee.
FC Lahti would be sure-fire favourites even against KooTeePee’s best crop of players, but the absence of so many KooTeePee players will make this game a mere formality. A draw would be a huge surprise, an away win a miracle.
The game is on Urheilukanava at 7 PM on Monday.

TPS – KuPS

TPS have been impressive of late, while KuPS are firmly rooted in the relegation play-off battle.
Chris Cleaver and Simo Valakari are reportedly almost fit to play, whatever that means. Jani Sarajärvi is still out, Janne Vellamo should be okay by now.
Newly relegated KuPS have not much to show of this season’s campaing. They suffered a 4-0 trashing at RoPS, and their confidence is probably quite low. If TPS pick up where they left off against VPS, there should be no doubt about the winner.

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One Response

  1. Thank you very much for your previews. They are always useful 🙂

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