FC Honka's beautiful Tapiolan Stadium

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FC Honka Espoo vs TPS Turku – away win with draw no bet at evens

Today’s featured game is the Veikkausliiga encounter between FC Honka Espoo and TPS Turku.

Honka are one of the bigger and better sides in the Veikkausliiga but you wouldn’t know it from their displays so far this season. On their day, they’re capable of scoring goals aganist any Finnish side. However, the fact is that they’ve not had “their day” in any of their Veikkausliiga or their Liiga Cup games this season and that’s a problem.

Personally, I attribute their failings to their Arsenal-esque approach to things. Yes, Honka play some lovely football sometimes but there are too many youngsters, not enough experienced players, it’s too easy to score against them, and they sell their best players prior to each campaign. Unfortunately for Honka, they lack an Arsene Wenger to keep bailing them out and it’s starting to show. Prior to this season, it was Demba Savage and Rasmus Schuller that left Honka – for HJK Helsinki, of all sides! That’s right, they sold two of their most instrumental and consistent players to arguably their biggest title rivals, which is just unbelievable. I respect that they brought Petrescu back to Finland because he was always a good player, especially at U21 level for Finland, but now their hopes are down to him and Nigerian hitman Dudu, who must be wishing that he’d stayed at KuPS Kuopio now! Honka are still a capable side but when they intend on showing it is beyond me. A string of bad displays lead them into this game and it’s not even a case of bad luck, in my view – they’re simply not attacking with enough cohesion and conviction to create chances and thus they’re not scoring goals. Honka’s defence is always likely to concede goals and given that they’re not scoring goals right now, that puts Honka in a very dangerous position today.

TPS Turku are gradually rising again and look to be the side that will ultimately replace Honka in the Veikkausliiga title race if their improvements continue. A few years ago, TPS Turku had to part with a lot of good players due to big financial problems. We’ve already seen what happened to Tampere United in that position and a similar fate was considered likely for TPS. They were smart and patient, though, and have almost rebuilt their whole team. This team works very well as a unit and has some of the Veikkausliiga’s best players in it. I question the depth of their squad but their starting eleven is excellent.

The sole flaw that TPS have is their occasional inability to break through solid and well-organised defences, such as Haka, or perhaps an inspired MyPa. Happily, that really shouldn’t be an issue here because Honka can’t and don’t defend. TPS shouldn’t even have to use their dangerous counter-attacks today; that’s how ineffectual Honka really are right now. Looking at Honka’s defence, who is going to nullify the superb Aaritalo? I can’t see anyone being able to manage it and that can be said for numerous TPS Turku players today.

In my opinion, TPS Turku are everything that FC Honka Espoo are not right now and you know that FC Honka Espoo would love it to be the other way around. It’s going to take an inspired FC Honka Espoo display in order for them to beat a very good TPS Turku side today, especially with ex-VPS Vaasa defender Tanska really solidfying the centre of their defence. Given the superiority that TPS Turku are currently enjoying over their hosts, I have to look upon the away win with draw no bet cover at evens as something of a steal today.

Verdict: TPS Turku to win with draw no bet at evens.

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