There are three matches in the Finnish League Cup Friday 29 January with FC Lahti hosting Inter Turku, KuPS hosting champions SJK and HIFK hosting PK-35 in a derby match.
FC Lahti – Inter Turku 15:00 Mukkula, Lahti Updated
Both teams already played once in the League Cup with Lahti beating HIFK 1-0 and Inter drawing 0-0 with PK-35. Lahti will go to this match without its Brazilians with top goal scorer Matheus Alves left to South Korea and the new loan signings from Fluminense Euller and Wallace Bonilha are not match fit yet.
Inter Turku will test their former player Kenneydy Nwanganga and also top goalscorer Gnabouyou will return to this match. Test player Toona Mokhtar who played in the PK-35 game will not continue with the team. In the first game Inter was able to defend better and for this game they will try to do better with their ball control which will improve their offense. With an extra week of team training that should show better.
Starting line ups:
Lahti: Maanoja – Hauhia, Tanska, Kärkkäinen, Tatar – Paananen, Bonilha, Kuningas, Hostikka – Multanen, Tuominen
Inter: Tuomarila – Belica, Sow, Obilor, Lehtonen – Nyman, Kauppi – Salminen, Duah, Mannström – Gnabouyou
Both teams start with very strong line ups with maybe Lahti looking even stronger. Lahti to win and under 2.5 goals.
KuPS – SJK 18:30 Kuopio-Halli, Kuopio Updated
The Champions travel to Kuopio to meet KuPS in their first League Cup match of the season. Both teams have played a couple of Friendlies with KuPS first beating FC KTP 4-1 and then losing 2-0 in Stockholm to Hammarby. SJK travelled to Saudi-Arabia and lost 3-1 to Al-Hilal and in Finland they drew 1-1 with first division side JJK Jyväskylä.
Both teams are playing with quite an experimental line up with KuPS missing Rannankari, Pennanen and new signing Nigerian central defender. Its a young line up that is lacking a striker upfront. SJK line up is stronger but they are also missing key players like Hurme, Aksalu (gk), Eremenko Jr. and Hetemaj.
Starting line ups:
KuPS: Pöntinen – Coulibaly, Ojantie, Mahanen, Lautamaja – Poutiainen, Milinkovic – Savolainen, Nissilä, Hakola – Ääritalo
SJK: Koponen – Tahvanainen, Heikkilä, Penninkangas, Aalto – Kink, Laaksonen, Brown, Sarajärvi – Ngueukam, Rahimi
SJK is closer to winning with a stronger line up but there should not be many goals. So also under 2.5 goals
HIFK – PK-35 19:00 Tali-Halli, Helsinki Updated
This is the first Derby game of the season. Both teams also have played already one match in the cup with HIFK losing 1-0 to Lahti and PK-35 drawing 0-0 with Inter in Turku. Even though PK-35 just got promoted to Veikkausliiga, the teams know each other well with 10 players from HIFK have a background in playing with PK-35 juniors. Also the teams met several times at YKKÖNEN where during the 2014 season all three matches ended in a draw. There should be quite a lot of fans in this game so there will be atmosphere.
HIFK should have their new signing top scorer Juho Mäkelä in the line up for this match which should improve their offense. PK-35 will get into this match winter signing Brazilian attacking midfielder Lucas Kauffmann and former Ipswich striker Pablo Counago.
Starting line ups:
HIFK: Piirainen – Anyamele, A Lody, Kuusijärvi, Jurvainen – Vesala, Gela, Korhonen, Peltonen – Mäkelä, Sihvola
PK-35: Kollar – Äijälä, Manev, Rasimus, Portela – Vilaboa, Kaufmann, Xhaferi, Mateo – Ömer, Counago
Without even seeing the line ups, this should be an over 2.5 game. It’s the first derby match and there should be some fans in the stands. With HIFK getting Mäkelä and PK-35 getting Counago into the line ups, this should promise goals.