3th round of Finland Veikkausliiga and home team Fc Lahti is facing IFK Marienhamn. Here we have two good teams, and the game is supposed to be quite even with these two, and it’s almost impossible at the moment to say that which one would be the favorite if we look the previous games. Both teams has the quality to end their season in top5 positions.
Fc Lahti in last game visited the HJK where they were huge underdogs. It was a bit surprising that Lahti was able to get a point from HJK in 1-1 away game. The game it self was mostly dominated by HJK, but still they couldn’t get much of a dangerous scoring chances. HJK just kept the ball, and the game was quite ineffective. Also HJK goal were more mistake of Lahti’s defense than goodness of HJK, so they got easy goal and with that goal HJK came to even after Lahti was leading 0-1. Besides of that one mistake in the defense Lahti showed really balanced game and their defense is showing signs that it’s starting to be in that solid condition we are used to for many years now. In this year’s games for some reason Lahti has been a lot better in second half’s of the games. Maybe they still are a bit like diesel motor after a long winter and in HJK game there was one chance for Lahti even to win the game, but Xhevdet Gelas huge bomb hit only a crossbar. There might be some rotation in the squad, because Lahti has now played three games in a week, so it might be too much for some starting players while the season has only started. Still they should be able to lineup a strong team, only absences should be the ones who has been sidelined for a while now; Petri Pasanen and Pekka Lagerblom. After two 1-1 draws Lahti is aiming only for the win at their home ground.
IFK Marienhamn is also coming from a 1-1 draw, as they played at home against promoted HIFK. For Ifk the game was really two sided, in the really windy weather, they dominated the first half as much as they liked and was leading 1-0 at the halftime by Dever Orgills beautiful goal (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mTDFE5UGa0).
But after the half time things changed and HIFK started to take over the game, and were able to outplay MIFK entirely after the nervous first half, their passing game started to work and after that there was only one team at the pitch. So there was some problems with Marienhams game, still there is a chance that the wind played some part in that, when both teams were able to rule that side when they have wind behind their backs, for that speaks the ball-control percent too, it was 50-50, still Mifk has twice as much scoring chances than HIFK, so you can say that they’ve should won the game. Of course they are missing Petteri Forsell for a long, but when you can create 8chances, you should use them especially at home.
I think that it tells quite a lot about Finland’s Veikkausliiga, when both of these teams has drawn 1-1 in both games they have played. Both Lahti and Mifk has played against one promoted team and Lahti against the biggest favorite for champion HJK and Mifk visited Jaro, which is also a hard place to visit. What I try to say is that the league itself is really interesting, anybody can win anybody and even the biggest favorites are struggling when the marginal is small. Still I’m not saying that now anybody anywhere can beat HJK, but when the time is right and things go well, everything is possible in this league.
In this game I belief that Lahti might take this one by a goal, but when it is so early stage of the season I will go with both teams to score. Maybe a bit against the odds, while Lahti is finding their rock solid defense once again, but I still see that there is lot of scoring potential at the Mifk’s team and Orgill is always a threat, no matter who are they playing against. Also I can’t see that home team here would not be able to score, Ääritalo and Rafael has all the attributes to lead Lahti to success at this season. And when the odds are so high, better than in a home win, my choose is clear.
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