PREVIEW: WEEKEND FINNISH ACTION
Daniel Antunez and FC Inter look to continue their winning ways when they host Veikkausliiga leaders HJK while Greg Eckhardt and VPS return home to face struggling FC Lahti.
FC Inter - HJK
Antunez and company get a crack at league leaders HJK on Sunday evening at Veritas Stadion in Turku.
The American can expect to assume his normal starting position on head coach Job Dragtsma's back line.
Inter are riding a two match winning streak and have gone more than two matches since conceding a goal.
Leading the way has been Henri Lehtonen who has scored three goals in the last two matches.
Lehtonen has combined with Nigerian striker Kennedy Nwanganga to rekindle the Inter attack and has helped the club climb into 10th spot and away from the relegation zone.
HJK has been solid all season long and sits atop the league standings with 20 points.
Last season's league champions are also rolling in the dometic cup compeititon having earned a spot in the Finnish Cup final with a resounding 3-0 win over IFK mariehamn in midweek.
Inter are still without their first two goalkeepers, Patrick Bantamoi and Canadian David Monsalve, so Dragtsma will once again turn to young Eemeli Reponen to tend net.
Janne Saarinen looks set to miss for the visitors.
VPS - FC Lahti
After playing well in the final 45 minutes of Monday's loss to Inter, American Greg Eckhardt can be expected to either start or see significant minutes off the bench for VPS who host next to last place FC Lahti.
Monday's match-up at Hietalahti Stadium in Vaasa will be an opportunity for VPS to right their ship.
Losses in their last two matches, one coming in league action and the other in the Finnish Cup, have left VPS in search of finding their offensive attack.
The team is now approaching nearly 200 minutes without a goal scored but a visit from Lahti could be just the remedy.
Eckhardt and the VPS defense have been solid all season but injuries to regular players like Midfielders Joacim Tuuri and Jyri Hietaharju and now Antonio Inutile have hampered their scoring a bit.
Fellow American Brian Pope is still nursing a shoulder injury and will not be available.
On the other side, Lahti have been dreadful this season accruing just seven points through nine games and have not achieved a victory since May 3rd, a winless streak that stands at seven.