The Finnish Veikkausliiga continues this Friday with three matches. VPS hosts SJK in the Pohjanmaa derby, Ilves is looking for a 4th clean sheet of the season against FC Lahti and RoPS will entertain KuPS in Rovaniemi.
VPS vs SJK 18:30 Elisa Stadium, Vaasa
Bethard odds: 3.15 – 3.00 – 2.40
VPS will play a second Pohjanmaa derby in a row as in the last round they drew with KPV. SJK will be a more difficult opponent as they have started their season surprisingly well. Last season the teams drew twice and then SJK won the last game in Vaasa. The teams met in the Finnish Cup group stage in January with VPS winning that match 1-2. For SJK this will already be their 3rd game in 8 days.
VPS team news
VPS has started their season with two draws and a loss and that is basically what they deserved. They deserved to lose to FC Inter at home 1-2 before they defended well against Ilves to earn a 0-0 draw. In their last game against KPV, they led the match already 2-0 but lost the lead and drew 2-2. That game was a big disappointment for VPS.
VPS uses a lot of fast attacks and they worked well in the KPV game, but it might not work that well against a well organised SJK defense. VPS wants to play longer attacks, but they have not been able to create enough scoring opportunities.
VPS will miss from this game Aatu Kujanpää, Jesper Engström and Juho Lähde. Captain Sebastian Strandvall is a doubt.
SJK team news
SJK lost their last game to Ilves 0-1 which was a bit unlucky for them as they had chances to equalize. In the previous matches they had beaten HIFK and FC Inter before they drew at home with HJK. They are still not playing at their full potential but at least they are playing better than last season and with a bit better finishing, they could even challenge for Euro Cup places this season.
SJK has a problem with defenders in this match as they will miss suspended Boris Kadio and Dani Hatakka. Defenders Joel Mero and Joonas Sundman are also injured. Billy Ions is also out from this game.
Main pick here is both teams to score. Bethard having 1.95 odds for this. SJK would be another pick but with so many key players out, it is better to stick to only on the BTTS.
Ilves vs FC Lahti 18:30 Ratinan Stadion, Tampere
Bethard odds: 1.74 – 3.50 – 4.95
Ilves has had a very strong start to the season and they have not conceded any goals in their opening three games. At the moment they, Honka and IFK Mariehamn look like the best teams. Ilves will yet again be fighting for at Top-3 spot this season. FC Lahti has changed a lot this season but they have started the season promisingly with a win and two draws. Last season Lahti had the advantage against Ilves as they beat them twice and one match ended in a draw. Ilves failed to score in all of those matches.
Ilves team news
Ilves has been really good so far as they are still without a loss during 2019 in all competitions. They made it into the Finnish Cup semifinal and have gotten 7 points from their 3 first Veikkausliiga games. The Veikkausliiga matches they have also played without a clear striker and still they beat KPV 0-2, drew 0-0 with VPS and beat SJK 0-1 in the last round. Thus they still have not conceded a goal.
This match is played on natural grass on the Ratina stadium where the condition is not the best so ball movement will be slower and pumpier. Ilves will miss from this match Matias Ojala, Matias Riikonen and Mikael Almén.
FC Lahti team news
Lahti has had some exciting games this season as they first drew 3-3 with KuPS after they were already 0-3 behind. They then beat HIFK in Helsinki 0-1 before a 1-1 draw with FC Inter. The team has changed a lot for this season so the game is not perfect yet. They have some good players but still their team play needs some improvement. They are a physical team and a poor condition pitch might suit them. Sami Ristilä took over FC Lahti at the end of last season and his first win was against Ilves.
Lahti will be without Jerónimo Amione, Drilon Shala and Irfan Sadik.
Main pick here is home win. Bethard having 1.74 odds for this. The odds are a bit skinny so keep the stakes low on this.
RoPS vs KuPS 18:30 Keskuskenttä, Rovaniemi
Bethard odds: 1.74 – 3.50 – 4.95
This is already the second match between the teams as in the season opener the teams drew 2-2 thanks to a last minute goal by RoPS. RoPS was 2nd last season and KuPS was 3rd. However their seasons have not started that well. RoPS has 4 points from 4 games and KuPS is still without a win with 3 points. Last season RoPS beat KuPS twice and one match ended in a draw. In the Finnish Cup, RoPS beat KuPS 3-2.
RoPS team news
RoPS has started their season with a win (KPV), a draw (KuPS) and two losses (Honka and IFK Mariehamn). They have not been as good as last season but they have had big injuries like for their main goalkeeper Reguero and striker Kokko. From these Kokko is still out. The team has had some flu going on also so need to check the line-ups before making bets.
RoPS is still a good team this season but most likely instead of a Top-3 position, they will be fighting for a Top-6. Last season RoPS was one of the best home teams in the league and that most likely wont change much for this season.
KuPS team news
KuPS has not had a good start to their season as last season´s 3rd is still without a win. They failed to progress from the group stages in the Finnish Cup also. Their main problem has been the defense which has already conceded 8 goals in 4 games. Offense has not succeeded much either as they have failed to score in the last two games. Especially their last game where they lost at home 0-3 to Honka was poor. It took them a while last season also to get their game together but this season they cannot afford to lose too many points in the beginning as the season is shorter.
Savolainen, Rangel and Thiaw are doubts for this match.
Main pick here is home win draw no bet. Bethard having 2.15 odds for this.