After a couple of draws, the hosts, who currently have a six-point lead at the top of the Veikkausliga table, will be looking to bounce back. VPS aren’t necessarily the easiest team to face, but HJK will surely be confident now back in front of a home crowd. Over the last few months, on their own patch, the current table-toppers have rarely put a foot wrong; they’ve scored lots of goals and have generally beaten teams out of sight at Telia 5G -areena.
VPS are no pushovers; they’ve won each of their last two in good style, while they’ve only lost one of their last five, though they’ve generally always struggled when facing HJK away from home. What’s more, despite winning games, the visitors have still been conceding a few goals, which doesn’t exactly bode well against a home team who find it easy to score on their own patch.
From an overall quality point of view, it would be wrong to say that HJK aren’t a good bit stronger than their opponents here, though blowing the visitors away may be somewhat tougher than the current prices suggest. VPS haven’t found wins all that easy to come by on the road, but what they have done is remain competitive, while they’ve also conceded few goals on their travels.
If we look at the hosts recent home record it would be easy to think that they can run away with this game, though Monday’s visitors are likely to provide far more resistance than several of HJK’s recent opponents. VPS may not have offered the greatest threat against the better teams on the road, though they have indeed stayed in games, conceding just three goals in their last five away matches.
As both their 1-1 draw away at Lahti and their 0-0 draw away at Ilves suggests, Petri Vuorinen’s men can keep themselves in it on the road. HJK do offer more forward quality than both of those teams, though not so much more that VPS should suddenly crumble on this occasion. What’s more, as good as the hosts have been this season, they’ve not exactly been firing on all cylinders of late. Even in their last home match when beating Mariehamn by two goals to nil, the hosts, though on top throughout, didn’t exactly set the world alight.
Overall, the hosts have more forward quality than their visitors, while they ought to be able to dominate the game, especially if what has gone before this season is anything to go by. However, given their recent performances on the road, the visitors are fancied to hang in there and keep things respectable. At the prices, ‘HJK to Win & Under 3.5 Goals’ stands out.
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HKJ have a positive record in this fixture having won four of the last five renewals. When the pair last met, just two months ago, Monday’s hosts won by two goals to one. On their own patch, HJK have now beaten VPS six times in a row. They ‘ve scored at least three goals in five of those.
Akseli Pelvas, who is struggling to overcome a knee injury, is out for the hosts, though they have no other injury concerns at present.
The visitors look set to be without just one player on Monday. Aatu Kujanpää picked up an injury back in March and is expected to continue on the sidelines for several weeks to come.