We owe you a sincere apology for our erratic previewing of the weekend’s Veikkausliiga round. Our dear friend Egan Richardson is writhing in the misery that confronted his dear hometown of Sheffield, and I have spent my time trying to understand the annual Finnish holiday called Vappu (on May 1st and, in its most liquefied form, April 30th every year). Anyway, here’s our preview for Monday’s two fixtures.
FC Inter (6th) – FC Lahti (11th), 18:30 GMT +2
Inter have scored two goals in their two games, the first one through left back Henri Lehtonen and the other through left winger Kennedy Nwanganga. The problem is that they have nobody else in the left flank to score goals for them. Their striker Guillano Grot is not really up to the task, so somebody else needs to do the job. That somebody else could be their new striker Daniel Osinachi Egwim. I have no idea who the hell he is, but Timo Furuholm is still injured and Osinachi cannot be much worse than Grot.
Lahti are still without a Veikkausliiga win this year, but they knocked Tampere United out of the cup on Thursday. Which is not a remarkable achievement. The Black Laggards are missing long-term absentees Janne Moilanen, Toni Huuhka and Heikki Haara, who are all defenders. They have still got four half-decent defenders, although you never know when they run out of what little luck they have left.
Inter’s ad on today’s Turun Sanomat had a wrong kick-off time, which speaks a lot for either Inter’s awareness or confidence. They will still win the game.
Tampere United (14th) – MYPA (11th), 20:30 GMT +2
Tampere United have really impressed so far. Newly promoted AC Oulu bagged three against them, JJK got a 2-0 win in Tampere. That’s 5-0 in two games against two bottom-tipped sides. They finally scored a goal in the cup against Lahti on Thursday, but that did not stop them from losing the game. Well, now they can prepare themselves for new disappointments in the league.
On the other hand, they can thank Lady Luck for being so nice on them. At least they went out against Veikkausliiga side Lahti and do not have to face the humiliation of being knocked out by some pub team in North-Eastern Lapland. “At least we tried to play a little”, said head coach Ari Hjelm after the Lahti game. I was trying to come up with a joke to go with the statement. Then I realised that the comment is an unintended joke in itself.
MYPA are the most boring team in the league, and last year’s desperate attempt to gain more attention by writing the name in capital letters didn’t help much. But at least they have a point, and will have three more if they “try to play a little”. That’s what Ari Hjelm would say, anyway.