The Veikkausliiga will kickoff in just under one week, and that is fantastic news for us supporters of the Finnish football at the highest level. In this preview I will go through the key points for this season, and in the end there will be a free-seasonbet!
The quality of the Finnish football is always questioned, is it good enough? I have to be honest and say it’s very low standard compared to other Scandinavian countries like Sweden and Norway. But the quality of the football is not everything, football is so much more! It’s the passion for your local club, and the fans who go to every home and away game in all kinds of weather. It is all about the fans when the quality is not at the highest level. The very best ‘fan game’ to look out for is the ‘Stadin derby‘ between HJK and HIFK. This Helsinki derby is really something else, and it can be compered to the biggest derbys in Europe.
The team that will surprise, and the one to disappoint
Do we have any teams that can do the unexpected? Actually I think we have someone that can challenge the top 3 that might be undervalued by the bookies. First up we have Ilves that had an amazing pre-season and are all the way in the semifinal in the Finnish cup. They have a solid defence and have kept most of their players from last season. Even more they have signed better offensive players with the likes of Youness Rahimi, Tuco and Eero Tamminen. These players will for sure give another dimension to the attacking game from Ilves. An important note to add is that they lost Soisalo to Middlesbrough. But I think they have signed solid players that can do a great job without Soisalo.
The team that will disappoint most is IFK Mariehamn, yes the Finnish champions from the prevoius season. Why will this happen? Hint: Losing to many key players. Thomas Mäkinen, Josef Ibrahim, Walter Vital, Diego Assis and last but not least Dever Orgill. He was one of the main reasons IFK Mariehamn surprised everyone and won the title last year. They signed some decent players but I don’t think it will be even close to good enoug. With this squad I can’t even see them challenging top 3 this year. Bookies will overvalue IFK Mariehamn early this season, take advantage of this.
Players to watch out for
There will always be players that you need to have a closer look at, but here I will give you two players that I think will be outstanding this season. First off we have the Colombian striker Alfredo ”Buffalo” Morelos that is capable of scoring 20+ goals in Veikkausliiga if he stays fit. Enjoy watching Buffalo as long as you can, because he will not be in Veikkausliiga for a long time. Alfredo Morelos is a strong target player that can score a goal from anywhere in any way.
Timo Furuholm is back after a few years in Germany and I am sure Timo will score plenty goals if Inter Turku plays decent possession football. Last time Timo was in the Finnish league he scored 22 goals and made 6 assists. That my friends is an insane record for being in Finland.
Battle for the title and relegation
In my opinion there will be only one team that can challenge HJK for the title and that is SJK, SJK have a better squad this year, but an important factor that will give HJK an huge advantage is that its chaos in SJK right now. What chaos? They sacked their successful manager Simo Valakari but also showed some really negative numbers in SJKS economy for the last year. But if SJK keeps playing their style of football they are for sure a contender for the gold this season.
HJK will always be favorites in Finland and if Alfredo Morelos stays fit and doesn’t get sold in the summer, the chance for SJK is very small, if not impossible due to him being an outstanding player. HJK will be dominating most of the games, it just comes down to how they can convert the chances they create.
Who will be relegated?
We have two teams in Veikkausliiga that I have as big favorites to be relegated. That is PS Kemi and JJK. Alot can change during a season but with the current squads, JJK and PS Kemi can’t battle with the rest of the league over 33 games. There are no top quality players in Kemi and JJK, the economy in these clubs is below average so they cant go spending big money on top players which makes it difficult for both teams to survive in Veikkausliiga.
Will Finnish of this article with a season bet that I think is overvalued by the bookies, I think Inter Turku will be back much stronger this season, they struggled last year and almost got relegated. Relegating with that squad would be like if Liverpool got relegated from the Premier League. An important part of this bet is that Furuholm finds his best form.
So what is the bet?
Inter Turku to Finnish 1-3 @ 4.0 at Unibet.
I think it should be around 3.0-3.10 so we are getting nice value for money here, and as you all know value always wins.