There are three matches in the Veikkausliiga this Friday 31.5.2019. Here are the match previews for FC Inter vs Ilves, RoPS vs HJK and HIFK vs VPS.
HIFK vs VPS 18:30 Telia 5G Arena, Helsinki
Bethard odds: 2.40 – 2.95 – 3.30
This is a big relegation battle match with VPS being 11th just two points behind HIFK who are 10th. Out of a total of 18 games they have played this season, there has been only one win (HIFK 2-0 Honka) and 11 draws. Both teams have lost 3 games.
Veikkausliiga has been really tight this season but still both teams need a win here or face staying in the relegation fight this season.
HIFK team news
Newly promoted HIFK has had a lot of changes this season and the changes will keep on happening under new owners. They play very good defensive game where they aggressively press their opponent in the beginning but then start to back off a bit later in the game. They are extremely difficult to break down and all of their losses so far have come by 1-0 numbers. They have never lost when they have scored and they have only lost once at home this season and that was their opening match against FC Lahti.
HIFK will get back to this match Toró, Jukka Halme and Hassan Sesay.
VPS team news
VPS is still looking for their first win this season. They play ok but just cannot keep it together for the whole 90 minutes. They play a bit better away from home as they have only lost one of their four away games this season and that was in the last round against IFK Mariehamn. All of their games have been very low scoring as all the away games have gone under 2.5 goals.
VPS has some good news on the injury front as Juho Lähde returns to the line-up. The midfield engine has been missed.
Main pick is both teams to score as 1-1 is a very possible result, but also VPS draw no bet.
RoPS vs HJK 18:30 Keskuskenttä, Rovaniemi
Bethard odds: 4.65 – 3.25 – 1.86
This is one of the most interesting matches on Friday. Not just because this is a match where last season´s top-2 meet but because just a week ago HJK head coach Toni Koskela was the head coach of RoPS. He now returns to the stadium where he won silver last season to face players who he coached just over a week ago.
RoPS team news
When you look at the league table, this is not as interesting match as it would have been last season. RoPS has started their season with a lot of injury problems and because of this, they have lacked a proper striker to score goals. With Aleksandr Kokko being injured for the most part of the season so far, they have only managed 7 goals in 10 games and are on 9th position. They have gotten 4 points from their last two games so things are improving.
RoPS will still miss Tarik Kada and also Kalle Katz is not allowed to play against his own team as he is on loan from HJK.
HJK team news
HJK was and still is the biggest favourite to win the title, but their season has been awful for their standards as the biggest club in Finland with a superior budget. Their last week´s win over KPV at home was only their third with this season in 11 games. This is why HJK sacked their title winning head coach Mika Lehkosuo. Like RoPS, HJK has not had any luck infront of goal. For the past few seasons, they have had a striker who has been excellent Like Alfredo Morelos (now Glasgow Rangers) or Klauss (Now LASK). This season their main striker Mexican Marco Bueno has not been good enough and they have scored only 12 goals in 11 games.
Akseli Pelvas, Evans Mensah and Marco Bueno are still injured. Faith Obilor is suspended.
Despite both teams lacking fire power up front, I believe we will see some goals in this match. Out of the last six games they have played against each other, five have gone over 2.5 goals like all of last season´s games. Both teams to score and/or over 2.5 goals is my pick for this match. HJK to win is a bit too low odds as a draw is also a very possible result.
FC Inter vs Ilves 18:30 Veritas Stadium, Turku
Bethard odds: 2.40 – 3.00 – 3.20
For a league table standpoint, this is the main match of the round with two of the Top-3 teams meeting in Turku. Both teams are high in the standings for completely different styles of play. FC Inter is the highest scoring team in the league with 18 goals in ten games. Ilves on the other hand has conceded the least amount of goals. Only two in their opening nine games.
Inter team news
FC Inter failed to beat HIFK away in the last round but they are still on top of the form table with four wins and one draw in their last five games. They play some exciting attacking football and their games are never boring. They have scored in every game in the Veikkausliiga so far. Slovenian Filip Valencic has been on fire this season scoring already seven goals. He is a good pick to find the net also in this match.
Inter will be without Alvaro Muniz and Albion Ademi.
Ilves team news
Like I explained earlier, Ilves is a very defensive-minded team. They are very organised and very difficult to break down. They have only conceded two goals and lost only once this season. Actually they have lost only once in every game during 2019 and this includes all the friendly games and the Finnish Cup, where they will play in the final in June. That one loss came in the last round when they lost to KuPS away from home 1-0. Scoring goals is their weakness at the moment as in the nine games they have only found the net six times.
Ilves has all players available.
Ilves beat Inter last season twice with all the matches ending in under 2.5 goals. Ilves has been great defensively but I doubt they can continue that for the whole season. Inter could be the team that breaks this especially as this is a match before both teams go on a small break. Both teams to score is the main pick for this match.