PREVIEW: WEEKEND FINNISH ACTION
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DAVID SMITH - Friday, May 13, 2011
Josh Wicks and Mariehamn will hope to take three points at home against struggling Turku while Jeremy Vuolo and AC Oulu will try to maintain their lead in the Ykkönen standings.

FC Honka Espoo - RoPS

RoPS central defender Etchu Tabe and his teammates will try to get back to their winning ways on Sunday afternoon when they visit Honka.

Still feeling the buzz from their dramatic Monday-night draw against Mariehamn, RoPS collapsed on Thursday night, giving up an early lead to fall at home to JJK Jyväskylä.

This saw them drop down to fifth place, still on just four points, ahead of their upcoming weekend opponents only by goal differential.

Honka have recovered from their poor season's start and were able to steal their first win of the season on Thursday night against Honka, and will certainly be eager to reward the home crowd with a victory on Sunday.

RoPS are reporting a full squad for the game while Honka will be without injured defender Hannu Haarala and midfielder Valmir Seferi.

IFK Mariehamn - Turku PS

Josh Wicks and Mason Trafford should be in Mariehamn's starting lineup on Monday evening when they try to protect their newfound advantage atop the Veikkausliiga against visiting Turku PS.

Giuseppe Funicello has yet to make an appearance for Mariehamn and will hope to be included on their bench.

A strong win on Friday evening over Haka, their second victory of the season, took Mariehamn away from the pack and planted them atop the standings. They are tied with JJK Jyväskylä on seven points, but leady by way of goal differential.

Mariehamn have put up impressive numbers on both sides of the ball, leading the league in scoring with 3.5 goals per game, while only averaging one per contest to their opponents, with all of them having come in Monday night's 3-3 draw against RoPS.

Turku looked headed for promising season after they came out winners on opening day, but have fallen in their two since by a combined 5-1 score, and are skirting danger with only goal differential keeping them free from the bottom two.

Both teams are reporting full squads for the game.

Porin Palloilijat - AC Oulu

Jeremy Vuolo should be in AC Oulu's goal from the get-go on Sunday afternoon as they take the field against their winless hosts Porin Palloilijat.

Due to the unusual situation of having an odd number of teams in the Ykkönen this season, Vuolo and his teammates have only taken the field once as compared to the two games played by most of their competitors in the league.

They did take a point in their late season opener last weekend against KPV, and will be confident of getting at least as good of a result on Sunday against a poor Palloiijat team that is without a point through their first two.

PoPa have been hit with a staffing crisis early in the season, as Petri Viljanen will miss on red card suspension, Kari-Pekka Koivunen is still recovering from a knee injury, Juuso Aallolla is out with an ankle problem, and Antti-Pekka Pihlainen, Samu Ruisniemi and Joni Vuorinen are all questionable with various knocks.

Oulu are reporting no absences to their squad.

Notes

Dan Stevens and PS Kemi Kings will have the weekend off from Ykkönen action, and will play their next game on Saturday, May 21 in Helsinki at HIFK.
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