ROPS vs Helsinki by Vicked
Here we finally go, Finlands Veikkausliiga is bout to start! Today at the first round there has been few cancelled matches while HIFK-VPS and Ilves-Kups has been cancelled because the bad conditions of fields. But we still have something good to pick up from the other games. In Rovaniemi Rops is hosting the biggest, strongest and meanest HJK. HJK is the team who should win all of their games and should take all the silverwares there is. They have already started it after winning leaguecup final against Rops too 0-2 about week ago. But luckily for everybody, this is football and everything can happen.
Rops for past few years hasn't shown nothing special. There's not so long ago, when they were dropped to 1th division and punished for fixing games, mostly because of foreign players from Africa. But that's all gone now, and Rops is ready to start fighting once again. Their season target was already in last year to finish in top6, but that wasn't realistic at all. This season they are Targeting once again to top6 and this time, there might be a chance for them. For me Rops is a underdog for this season, if their main players are going to stay fit and they manage to go throw the season with minimal injuries, there is a chance for good season for them. Rops has done really good in the transfermarket and they have improved their midfield with young rising stars like Matej Hradecky and Moshtagh "Mosa" Yaghoubi, also Aleksndr Kokko is going to be really important as being their number one attacker. Specially Mosa has all the attributes to dominate the league in his position, while he is one of the most promising young players in Finland. He came from Spartak Jurmala, after Spartak's financial problems.
Also there has arrived Juha Pirinen too, who is young and promising too but not yet in the level of Hradecky and Mosa. But with these contents, must be sayed that Rops has one of the best midfield's in the league when all the best players are fit, SJK might have the strongest one, but Rops is close behind with Mosa, Hradecky, Pirinen, Okkonen and Mäkitalo. At the start of the season, Rops has quite good injury situation, only established Aleksndr Kokko is doubtful and also he has already been training with the team.
HJK, the team who won almost everything in last season, once again. They took League for the sixth time in a a row, Finland's Cup and they were in the group stage of EuropaLeague. So as we know HJK is the number one team in Finland in every aspect. At the start of this season their situation is even better than last year, their team building was ready earlier and they have been able to train with the full squad about for a month now.
Also they has been getting even stronger, specially in the attacking side. They were able to get a player who might be way too good in the Veikkausliiga, Mike Havenaar. Under a year ago Havenaar was scoring goals in LaLiga with Cordoba but after some injury problems he went back to Japan and now has came to HJK with another Japanese attacking midfield player Atom Tanaka. Must be said that still i believe that if the chance comes for Havenaar, he will leave HJK when the new seasons starts in the bigger leagues, so I think he will be highly motivated to show his skills in Finland to get back to bigger clubs. Also HJK has covered mayby their biggest weakness in last season, while goalkeeper Daniel Örlund came from Rosenborg.
Today HJK will miss Demba Savage, Nikolai Alho and team captain Markus Heikkinen is a doubtful.
Now about a game it self. It is true that HJK is mostly likely the winner of the day, even that Rovaniemi is one of the toughest places to visit. Last time they met in the liigacup final a week ago, HJK out played Rops completely and won 2-0, but i believe that Rops has learned something from that loss. And if Rops can keep their sheet clean, HJK is forced to attack more and rise their line, and that gives Rops chances to counterattack, and that is what they have trained for this season.
To be more district and counterattack with pace. But if HJK is going to get a fast goal at the start, Rops is in a big problems, because Mika Lehkosuos side plays really mature in the leading situations. But since this is a first game of the season and the seasons starts are known from surprises, i have the feeling that in the home ground, Rops can find the net today, specially if Kokko is fit and playing.