DAVID SMITH - Saturday, July 16, 2011
Josh Wicks will look to keep Mariehamn on the right track when they pay a visit to Turku PS while Etchu Tabe will likely continue to miss time with injury as RoPS continue their descent to relegation.
Turku PS - IFK Mariehamn
Josh Wicks will bein goal for Mariehamn on Sunday as they try to push their unbeaten streak to five games on their trip to fourth-place Turku PS.
Fellow Americans Mason Trafford and Giuseppe Funicello will likely begin the game on the bench and will hope to see time as substitutes.
Only one point separates the Islanders from their Sunday-afternoon opponents, with Turku holding the slight edge. This could all change after the weekend, as both teams are on opposite trajectories as of late.
While Mariehamn has posted two wins and two draws for an undefeated record in their previous four games, TPS has had quite the opposite run, failing to win in their last five league outings to lose pace with the top of the league.
Further compounding their predicament is the fact that they will likely still be fatigued and disheartened from their 1-0 loss in Europa League qualification to Belgian team KVC Westerlo on Thursday night, possibly throwing both the physical and mental edge towards Mariehamn.
Their one major disadvantage is that they still have a number of players missing through injury, including forwards Mikko Paatelainen and Wilhelm Ingves, midfielders Markus Paatelainen and Amos Ekhalie, along with defenders Echiabhi Okodugha and Fernando de Abreu.
TPS are not reporting any absences from their squad.
Etchu Tabe has struggled with a hamstring injury and will likely be unavailable on Sunday when last-place RoPS try to end their awful winless run against visiting Honka.
Daniel Stevens helped Kemi to a thrilling 2-2 draw with Jeremy Vuolo and AC Oulu on Thursday night by beating his American compatriot for Kemi's equalizing goal.
Kellan Wilson is away from the team on persona matters and will not suit up on Sunday when his employers HIFK visit first-place PK-35 Helsinki.