KPV v RoPs - Finnish Veikkausliiga 2019 Match Preview and Prediction
After meeting in the Sumonen Cup quarter-finals and losing to KPV, RoPs will hope April 13th will mark the date they get their revenge and win their first match of the season.
KPV started off the 2019 season with a surprising win against RoPS in the Dumonen Cup quarter-finals, which got them a ticket to the semi-finals, where they will get to meet with Ilves on May 15th. After an impressive result in the cup match, KPV were expected to put up a good fight against Ilves in their 1st league match of the new season, but that was not the case. There were some promising moments in the first half of the match when KPV had a good chance to score a goal, however, after two exceptional chances the rhythm of the match turned around and Ilves took over. For the remainder of the match, KPV failed to produce anything noteworthy. And while that on its own is not worrying, what is worrying is their approach to the game. KPV seemed a bit lost and unorganized. What was even more confusing id their decision to play extremely aggressive in the last 30 minutes, which left them vulnerable in the back. The match ended with 0:2, however, I would not be surprised if Ilves ended up winning with a bigger margin.
The visiting side, RoPS failed to win both of the opening two league matches. In the league opener, RoPS were paired with KuPS, who were expected to win, and even came extremely close of doing so. But RoPS player Sampo had other plans and scored a late equalizer (90'+4) which got his team a hard-fought point (2:2). In the 2nd match of the season, RoPS hosted Honka, who exposed RoPS weakness. They lack squad depth, which was the main factor that contributed to their 1st defeat of the season. But we must give RoPS some slack, as they had to face Honka who are a strong team. At the end of the day, Honka were the 4th team last season and also added some fresh names to their squad this season, which arguably makes them even stronger. Final score: 1:2.
Both teams failed to win their last fixture, however, the difference in the opponents they had to face is huge. RoPS did end up losing to Honka, but they put up an impressive fight. In fact, I would call the Rovaniemi v Honka the best Veikkausliiga match this season. RoPS does miss some squad depth, but that does not mean they are a bad team. They might not finish at the top of the league, but they surely won't end up in the bottom either. With that in mind, I'm not too concerned about how RoPS will perform in the upcoming match, as they are facing a team that was far from impressive in their last match. Historically, it's KPV who won 3 out of the last 4 H2H matches, however, form what we have seen this season I expect RoPS to bounce back and win their 1st league match on April 13th.
Prediction: RoPs to win