Sports Mole previews Thursday’s Europa League match between HJK Helsinki and Silkeborg, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
The visiting team go into the game after suffering their first defeat in the 2022-2023 Danish Superliga campaign and will be looking to get back to winning ways quickly.
HJK Helsinki sealed their place in the Europa League qualifying playoffs last Thursday when they secured a second-leg victory over Maribor.
After an uneventful first half at Sonera Stadium Santeri Hostikka came up trumps for the home team when he scored a goal nine minutes into the second period to end the Slovenian lineup 3-0.
Before that, Toni KoskelaThe team was denied a fourth bounce victory in the Finnish Veikkausliiga, as AC Oulu had to draw 1-1. Bojan Radulovic and Michael Lopez scored for either side to force a share of the spoils.
The Finn, who was sent packing in a 7-1 aggregate defeat against Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League qualifiers, is currently unbeaten in his last four games in all competitions with three wins and one draw.
HJK Helsinki is currently third in the Veikkausliiga and heads into Thursday on a four-game winning streak from their last five home games, with the only exception being a 20-1 loss to Viktoria Plzen on July 20.
Silkeborg, meanwhile, were condemned to their first defeat of the 2022-23 campaign in the Danish top flight as they were beaten 2-0 away to Viborg when the sides clashed last Sunday.
Before that, Kent NielsenThe men kicked off their new season with a thrilling 2-2 draw with Lyngby in their league opener on July 17, before going on to win three of their next three games.
While Silkeborg will be looking to get back to winning ways and make an early march in their race for the Europa League group stages, they have managed just one win in their last five competitive away games, drawing one and losing three since the start. May.
HJK Helsinki Europa League format:
HJK Helsinki format (all competitions):
Silkeborg form (all competitions):
Austrian midfielder Manuel Martic is also out of contention for the Finish outfit as he continues his long journey towards full fitness after suffering a leg injury against Rigas Futbola Skola in July.
Hostikka has played a key role in coaching HJK in the group stages of the Europa League, and the 24-year-old, who has scored one goal and assisted one of Koskela’s team’s three goals in the qualifying matches, should lead the attack with Bojan Radulovic and Malik Abubakari.
20 year old defender Oscar Fuglsang is set to sit out his seventh straight game through a hamstring problem Gustav Dahl and Alexander Lind are yet to appear in the Danish team this year due to long-term injuries.
HJK Helsinki possible starting line-up:
Wrong; Field, Tenho, Raitala; Browne, Hoskonen, Lingman, Murillo; Abubakari, Olusanya, Radulovic
Silkeborg’s possible starting line-up:
Larsen; Sonne, Salquist, Felix, Engel; Pordarson, Brink, Klynge; Jorgensen, Helenius, Vallys
We say: HJK Helsinki 2-2 Silkeborg
HJK have enjoyed a perfect campaign in the Europa League qualifiers, winning two of their matches so far while keeping two clean sheets. However, they should expect a stiff challenge from Silkeborg, who have the necessary firepower to grab a result on Thursday. We expect a thrilling contest where both sides cancel out each other’s efforts and settle for a draw, leaving everyone to play in the second leg.
To analyze the most likely results, score points and other information of this match Click here.