Match Preview: All About Attitude

Tomorrow’s match is one of those that are difficult to approach. We beat SW 0-13 (0-4) in the away leg earlier this summer, and that is not the only drubbing they have received this season. Indeed, their goal differential after 17 matches is a desperate 14-84. Needless to say, they have been the bottom team throughout the season. But all this notwithstanding, the match still starts at 0-0 and we need to score a few goals early to make the match easy for us. With the wrong attitude that won’t happen, and we all know how difficult it is to adjust a poor attitude after the match has started. That is why the team needs to approach the match just like any other match – and if they do that, chances are that they can switch to a more relaxed mode even before the match is over.

This match also gives us a chance to end one bad streak: we have not won a match at our home stadium in Pyynikki since June 1st. Since then we have played four matches there, and the best result is the 1-1 tie with NePa. A streak of six away wins has kept us in a good position on the table in terms of the second place, but now we have to start winning our home matches as well. Indeed, NePa won their match away at Urjala on Friday, and are now one point ahead of us on second place, albeit with two more matches played. We need to win our two games in hand in order to keep things under our control.

There are four matches remaining for us in the season, and our three next ones are home matches at Pyynikki. If we win these three matches, our last match away at Tervakosken Pato is guaranteed to be meaningless in terms of our ultimate position on the table. This would be the ideal run-up to the promotion playoff.

And by the way, as of now we can consider it certain that the promotion playoff will be played. For it not to happen, some pretty amazing things would have to happen in Kakkonen. Namely, JBK would have to gain eleven points with respect to Ilves-Kissat / Pallo-Iirot in five matches, and Gnistan would have to gain ten points on them in six matches. Although not quite yet mathematically impossible, in practice we can be certain that both of these won’t happen. Indeed, it would be quite amazing if either one of them did.

Getting back to tomorrow’s match, it looks like we are going into it with a very good lineup. Jan Irjala is out on yellow card accumulation, and additionally Jouko Turunen, Otto Pitkänen, and Ville Toiva are unavailable as well. This leaves little choices for the defensive line, and the best guess would be that Osku Airesto will start as a center back alongside Timo Kauppinen. Out wide Riku Jussila and Tuomas Savinainen seem to be the only choices available. Otherwise our lineup looks pretty strong. Jan Riikonen and Jacin Dakkaki are still absent, but otherwise we have our strongest lineup available, except for the long-term injuries.

The match kicks of on Sunday at 4 pm local at Pyynikki. A live stream is again available at for all who cannot make it to the match.