Fenerbahçe SK vs HJK Helsinki Preview 19/08/2021
This season’s Europa League has also reached the play-offs stage of the competition and the big guns of the European stage now enter the arena and Thursday evening features Turkish side, Fenerbahce, taking on Finnish outfit, HJK, at the Ülker Stadyumu Fenerbahçe in the 1st leg of their play-off tie.
Fenerbahce produced a winning start to their new season on the weekend when they registered a 1-0 win away from home at Adana Demirspor on the opening day of the new Turkish top flight season.
— Fenerbahçe SK (@Fenerbahce) August 16, 2021
Thursday’s hosts have also enjoyed a solid and successful pre-season as well with Fenerbahce being unbeaten in their seven warm-up games, winning five of these, and this early momentum should give Fenerbahce a decent chance of claiming a 1st leg lead against their Finnish visitors.
The bigger picture shows that Fenerbahce have suffered just the one defeat out of their last 19 matches overall in all competitions while in the Europa League, the Turkish club have lost just one of their last 15 home ties in this competition.
Onto HJK and the Finnish visitors have already been involved in a number of qualifying ties in European competitions so far this season as they registered a 7-1 win on aggregate against Montenegro club, Buducnost, in the Champions League but were then dumped out of the competition by Malmo 4-3 on aggregate.
However, HJK quickly produced a positive response in the previous round of the Europa League qualifying round as they recorded a convincing 5-2 win on aggregate against Azerbaijan outfit, Neftci Baku, to progress through to this play-off stage.
HJK have also produced a steady sequence of results in all competitions as the Finnish visitors have suffered just two defeats from their previous 20 games overall, while also picking up a total of 15 wins during this period as well.
Thursday night’s visitors should therefore be respected ahead of this 1st leg tie in Turkey but they may struggle to cope with the quality of Fenerbahce especially as HJK have managed to collect just one win out of their last eight ties in this competition overall.
HJK have also struggled on the road at this level too, winning just two of their last 16 away ties in the Europa League and they could come off second-best at Fenerbahce as well.
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