Sixth round of Finland Cup and we have a really close game between Kups and Lahti, teams who has already met few times at the winter, because they were in same league cup group. In those two games Lahti won away 1-2 and Kups away game ended 1-1. Still even the lineups has changed a little after that, the story is the same; If the teams would be able to lineup the best possible starting eleven, Lahti would be the favorite but in the cup everything is possible.
Kups hasn’t start their League campaign yet, so their last official game is the cup game against SJK where they surprised most of people by beating the favorites 1-2 in away game. In that game, SJK was the dominant side but Kups defended really well and were able to use their few scoring changes, Pennanen scored form a penalty and Hakola made the winning goal. At the moment there is a huge buzz around the club and I tell you why; who remember the “futures Pele” the one who should become one of the best of the best? Freddy Adu. Yes, Freddy has joined Kups and this might be the debut game for the formal wonder kid in Finland. I must be honest that i haven’t seen this 25year old Adu playing like in last 6 years, so I really cant tell how good he is today. Of course he should be at least a decent one for Finlands league but is he a rainmaker, no one knows yet.
At least even if Freddy is not able to be star in the field, this has shown a good marketing instinct from Kups. As it self Kups is an interesting team this season, they have good youngsters and experienced older ones in the squad, and might be that when there is no bigger expectations from them, that mix can be quite surprising. If they are going to play like they played against SJK in the league cup, there might be chances to do well. Even though that was a away game against better team, and they were able to just defence and counterattack and if they are going to use the same against weaker sides, will it work. Time will show. But today coach Rajamäki will have almost a full squad in his hands while only striker Francis Chibuike Nnah and winger Ilmari Niskanen will be out from the game. There is lots of talent in Kups squad, starting from down the goalkeeper Tomi Maanoja has shown for several years in the row that he deserves to be one of the best goalies in the league. At the defense there is Babacar Diallo, Toni Markic, Stephen McCarthy and Dani Hatakka, who all are good level for League games. Midfielder Petteri Pennanen has been one of the biggest stars for them at the winter season, he has done it all, created,finished goals and played good in the defensive way too. Even that Nnah is out, there still is lots of firepower. Juha Hakola, Miikka Ilo and specially Irakli Sirbiladze who at his best can easily be the scorer of the year.
Fc Lahti is coming from a dissapointing league start after they drew at home against promoted KTP. Lahti should won that game, but they was unable to use their scoring chances effectively and after a bad ball from the defence ended up to Ilari ÄIjäläs leg and scored a lucky goal for Ktp. After that Lahti took the control totally and were able to rise to the draw but still, there was lots of chances where they should have punish the weaker Ktp, even though the field conditions were bad and make the playing more direct than they are used to. Today they have only a win in their minds. Also Lahti has almost o full squad available, besides Pekka Lagerblom and Petri Pasanen. With these two big and experienced players Lahti will be much better than with out them. Today they will get back their first goalkeeper Henrik Moisander after a injury. Lahti is going to rotate some of the starters from last game to get fresh legs but still with this squad depth, they should have a starting eleven capable enough to challenge the home side. Most of all Lahti has known from its solid defence, there is really good players like Jani Tanska, Mikko Hauhia, Henri Toivomäki, Markus Joenmäki and Hassan Sesay who all have played in the good level for a longtime. This is the line which should not let Lahtis coach Korkeakunnas down. As long as Lagerblom is out, the midfield might be the weak spot of lahti but strikers like Rafael and Mika Ääritalo can create and finish by themselves too. Also there is availible to play upfront the Shala brothers Drilon and Driton.
Today Kups might seem to be stronger and with bookers they are the favorites, altough I see some value with Lahtis success because their team has been together longer and they have started the season already. Kups might be over trying at home if the things don’t work right away and that’s the spot where Lahti can hit. So, Lahti Dnb with 2.6 or double chance x2 with 1.7 might have some value. Still I’m going with the safest option in my eyes; Both teams to score. Even though Lahti has a good defence, there is enough firepower at Kups to make some damage. Specially if Freddy Adu is even a bit worth of the hype, he can create some danger to Lahti. Lahti on the other hand created around seven chance where they should have scored the second one against Ktp, that is including one post and one crossbar so they were close.
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