Today is the day what these teams has been waiting for 43 years. There’s 43 years since Hifk and HJK last time meted in Veikkausliiga. Sonera-stadium is sold-out tonight and the atmosphere will be something that is unusual for Finland. This game will have a great intensity and electric. It’s something that players need to be aware of to avoid stupid mistakes and cards. This derby of Helsinki, is going to be a huge game and maybe even a vanguard for the whole league.
HJK is of course a big favorite to win for the game against promoted Hifk. Even though HJK’s game has not yet been like they would like it to be. In last game Fc Lahti was able to get a point from HJK in 1-1 draw, and there was even a places for Lahti to take all the three points from HJK’s home field, still HJK created quite much chances but couldn’t use them correctly. For today’s game coach Lehkosuo knows that the game will be a hot one, and he must keep players heads cooled, it would be extremely hard to win a derby with one man down. Also they need to keep their game balanced especially when HJK is attacking, while Hifk is really dangerous in counterattacks. HJK is going to create lots of chances today too, but it’s all about a finishing today. There has been some problems with the lineup of HJK, lot of injuries and almost every winger has been out in the same time. For this game the injury situation will be a better one than in last two games, only confirmed absences will be long term injuries Markus Heikkinen and Nikolai Alho. Also the winger situation got a lot better, just a few days ago HJK were able to sign a really good strengthening for winger; Formose Mendy, who last time were playing for Blackpool in englands Championship. Mendy is a technical and fast player who likes to play in the right side, must be said that HJK did once again bring another one really good player to Finland’s level. Let’s hope that these quality players will bring some success in Europe too at this season. Other players to follow in HJK is of course striker Mike Havenaar and Robin Lod who after last season was selected the best player of the year.
Hifk is coming from 1-1 draw from away game against Mariehamn. In that two sided game they once again showed, that they can’t be taken lightly, not even they just got promoted. There is a interesting fact concerning Hifk, there is no foreign players at all in the team. This has even got the hype around the club even bigger and many people that wouldn’t support Hifk are now backing them for that. For Hifk this a huge chance, they don’t have any pressures about this game and they can prepare for the game as a huge underdogs, there is nothing to lose for Hifk. Still they know, that there might be chances today, while HJK’s game has not been in the shape yet and in the derby games, anything can happen. For the start at least I belief that Hifk is trying to keep their sheet clean and hurt HJK with quality counter-attacks. Even though there is some players who might not be in the level of Veikkausliiga, must be said that Hifk has some great potential in their team, starting from the coach Jani Honkavaara who has now bring Hifk from 2nd division to Veikkausleague, has a real talent to working with players. Maybe the biggest player for Hifk is Fredrik Lassa, youngster who played last season with HJK. Lassas is the playmaker of Hifk and has a big responsibility in the Hifk’s game. Also Pekka Sihvola is a real threat every time he is at the field. Sihvola came from Mypa after last season and he is the one of the most completed overall strikers at the league, he can create and finish with a great precent. At the defense there is Tuomas Aho, and Jukka Sinisalo to keep order in the line of Hifk.
In this game what everybody is waiting and there is going over 10 000 spectators going to the stadium we might see some quality football. This game is kind of hard to predict even HJK is a big favorite and most likely will win the game. I have a feeling that we might see some goals today. There is good attacking players in Hifk, and Sihvola in the frontline, they can score at least once. Still, I don’t belief that HJK will lose this game and Havenaar should start netting the ball with better percent now. This is why I will go with over 2,5 goals while the odds has some good value for over.
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