There are 3 games today in the Veikkausliiga: VPS vs KPV, KuPS s FC Honka and IFK Mariehamn vs RoPS. Here are our match previews

VPS vs KPV 16:00 Elisa Stadion, Vaasa
Bethard odds: 2.10 – 3.15 – 3.60

This is a “Pohjanmaa” Derby (Western Finland) game so there should be a good crowd. Even though its early on in the season, both teams need a win here. VPS has 1 points from two games but newly promoted KPV does not have any and have not scored any goals either. Both teams are considered to finish in the bottom half this season so it has not been the best start. The teams met once already this season in the Finnish Cup with KPV winning 0-1.

VPS team news

VPS has had some issues when playing at home. They won only 4 home games last season and it did not start well either this season as they lost to FC Inter 1-2 the season opener. In their second game, they got a great 0-0 away draw against probably the best team at the moment, Ilves. That 0-0 though had also happened the two previous times and VPS just knows how to eliminate the threats from Ilves.

When VPS defends, they can be organised but at the same time it will take away from their offense. Goal scoring has been a problem for them as they are a team who wants to be in a good goal scoring sector before shooting, but in many games they just dont get those chances too often.

KPV will be a different opponent than Ilves as they defend deeper and will allow VPS to control the game. That is what they did in the Finnish Cup game and VPS had problems breaking this down. They could have similar problems in this game even though a proper derby game with plenty of fans could also play a factor.

VPS will miss from this match Aatu Kujanpää, Jesper Engström and Juho Lähde.

KPV team news

KPV started their season with two losses in their “home” games in Seinäjoki. They first lost to Ilves 0-2 and then to RoPS 0-1. In the RoPS match they started to improve and had many chances to score in the end but still, this team is lacking a proper striker who could put the ball away. Their new striker Ivanovski played a few minutes in the RoPS game so maybe he can be their saviour.

KPV is a very organised defensive team and they have a chance to cause surprises but they are desperate for points already now. The newly promoted team will miss Patrick Poutiainen from this match.

Prediction:

Main pick is both teams not to score. Bethard having 1.74 odds for this.

KuPS vs FC Honka 16:00 Savon Sanomat Areena, Kuopio
Bethard odds: 2.20 – 3.35 – 3.25

This is the big game of the round with last season´s number 3 facing number 4. KuPS was ahead of Honka only on goal difference then and earned themselves a place in Europe. Honka will definitely want a revenge on this. Last season both of the  matches between the teams ended 1-1 with Honka winning at home 2-1.

KuPS team news

KuPS has started their season with 3 draws and in all of them they had a chance to win the game. RoPS equalised to 2-2 right at the end. FC Lahti came back from 0-3 down at half time to draw 3-3. Against HJK, KuPS was a lot better but could not score against Maxim Rudakov with the match ending 0-0. The team has good elements, but it is not playing at a level that they could.

The defense is their biggest worry. The back 4 and the defensive midfielders are not playing together well yet which creates mistakes and allows opponents to have chances. The game against HJK was already a good one for KuPS but Honka has much better offense and they play more direct so the defense will be tested more.

Honka team news

Honka started their season as the biggest challenger to HJK. They started well by beating last season´s number 2, RoPS 1-2 away from home. However their home opener failed miserably as IFK Mariehamn beat them 1-3. Honka plays nice passing game and they need a solid surface to do it. The pitch in Espoo was in poor condition and favoured the visitors. KuPS has an artificial turf so Honka can play their normal game.

Honka has defensive issues though as Tommi Saarinen and Gideon Baah are injured.

Prediction:

Main pick is both teams not to score. Bethard having 1.74 odds for this. Another pick is over 2.5 goals with 1.99 odds.

IFK Mariehamn vs RoPS 17:00 Wiklöf Holding Arena, Mariehamn
Bethard odds: 2.20 – 3.15 – 3.45

IFK has had the two most difficult games of their season already played and they have 3 points to show for it. They look like a different team from last season when they were fighting to avoid relegation. RoPS has had an inconsistent start with one win, one draw and a loss. All their points have come away from home and they want to continue that point streak. They beat IFK Mariehamn last season in all three times so that will give them confidence.

IFK Mariehamn team news

IFK Mariehamn has changed a lot this season and the team looks stronger. This has shown also in their results as they are in the Finnish Cup semi-finals. They also played well against HJK but suffered two last minute goals and lost 2-1. In their second game they beat Honka 1-3 and they played really well in that match. They could have even scored more goals.

This home game should be a bit different though as RoPS will not give as much space to them as Honka did. RoPS is defensively more organised.

RoPS team news

RoPS has not had the best start to their season but it is not a catastrophe either. They came back to draw against KuPS but then lost to Honka at home 1-2. They got their first win against KPV in their last match, but it was a bit lucky as KPV had several chances to equalise. They are not yet at their last season´s level.

RoPS has not had a chance to play on natural grass this season and this will be a disadvantage for them. They said that they will change their playing style for this match because of the condition of the pitch. This also is a disadvantage to them.

RoPS will miss Aleksandr Kokko, Timo Stavitski and Sergio Llamas from this match but Eetu Muinonen and Antonio Reguero are already back with the team. RoPS has especilly missed their main goalkeeper and captain Reguero.

Prediction:

This is a difficult match to predict but we will go with home win. Bethard having 2.20 odds for this. The natural grass will give the home side the advantage at this stage of the season.

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