Only HJK have a playing budget exceeding a million euros, and even their biggest-spending rivals are planning to spend little more than half that. HJK are therefore the clear title favourites, with several Finnish internationals and emerging talents like the 18-year-old striker Joel Pohjanpalo.
Their likeliest challengers are TPS, who have re-signed Wayne Brown from England after a successful loan spell four years ago. The TPS playing budget is 600,000 euros, well down on their spending just a few years ago, but such is the frugality across the league—and the strength of the TPS youth set-up—that their coach Marko Rajamäki managed to put together a strong squad.
Their city rivals Inter Turku have a weaker team despite their comparatively high wage spending. They lost defender Joni Aho and midfielder Joni Kauko to FC Lahti, and as a result are struggling to rebuild their squad.
Honka have two exceptional new recruits who are apparently not earning big money: Ivorian defender Abdoulaye Méïté and Spanish midfielder Rubén Panazuelos. Combined with their numerous promising academy products, they are expected to outperform their budget.
Veikkausliiga attendances are always a cause for concern. One perhaps surprising fact is that over the last decade, crowds seem to have been higher when fewer goals were scored.