HJK Helsinki vs Fenerbahçe SK Preview 26/08/2021
Fenerbahçe Travel to Finland with Slender Lead
The second leg will be played at the Telia 5G Arena, giving the Finnish club the home advantage.
HJK Helsinki maçı hazırlıklarımızın İstanbul etabını tamamladık. 💪 pic.twitter.com/DMmMpN37mt
— Fenerbahçe SK (@Fenerbahce) August 24, 2021
HJK Helsinki come into the match with a 1-0 deficit from the first leg played in Turkey last week. The only goal of the game was scored 20 minutes into the second half and although away goals do not count if the tie was to end level, HJK Helsinki will be disappointed they did not find the back of the net. However, the result still leaves them with a good opportunity to qualify for the group stage of the competition.
HJK Helsinki returned to Veikkausliiga action on the weekend and recorded a 1-0 victory at Lahti. That result continues the dominance of HJK Helsinki in their domestic league and they are currently 9 points clear of the second place team.
Home form has been good this season and HJK Helsinki are undefeated in each of their 10 home matches in all competitions, winning 8 of those games. One of the victories came at home against Neftchi Baku in the Europa League and trends show they have proven difficult to beat at home in the competition, with HJK Helsinki losing only 2 of their last 11 home Europa League fixtures.
Fenerbahçe travel to Finland with a one goal advantage following the first leg but there is still work to be done in order to reach the group stages of the Europa League this season.
Having won that match, Fenerbahçe were back in domestic league action on the weekend and they recorded a 2-0 home win over Antalyaspor. However, it was far from comfortable and Fenerbahçe opened the scoring in the 89th minute, scoring their second just one minute later.
That result means Fenerbahçe have made a 100% start to the season having won all 3 of their competitive fixtures. They started with a 1-0 win over Adana Demirspor away from home in the Super Lig before beating HJK Helsinki in the Europa League.
Fenerbahçe have a poor recent away record in the Europa League and they have lost 4 of their last 5 on the road, picking up a single draw.
Team news and HJK Helsinki could make some changes to their starting XI from the weekend. There are doubts over the fitness of Kevin Benissan but Daniel O’Shaughnessy and Roope Riski should both be fit to start.
Fenerbahçe will travel without the injured trio of Mert Hakan Yandas, Serdar Dursun, and Dimitrios Pelkas. Mesut Özil is set to play in attacking midfield.
This should be another close game, matching that of the first leg. However, as HJK Helsinki have to press to score a goal, they could be caught by Fenerbahçe, who have the quality to score on the counterattack. A narrow away win, with just a single goal separating the teams could be on the cards.