HJK Helsinki vs Plzen – Preview and Prediction

HJK Helsinki vs Plzen – When HJK Helsinki hosts Viktoria Plzen to the Bolt Arena on Wednesday for the first leg of their Champions League qualification series, they will be looking to avoid going out in the second round for the fourth time in a row.

After a nail-biting penalty shootout, the reigning champions of Finland advanced, while RFS were knocked out in round two. A 2-1 second-leg defeat to HJK after Manuel Martic had put his side 1-0 up in Helsinki proved that RFS midfielder Stefan Panic was no hero in the Champions League first qualifying round.

HJK’s five shooters all hit the target from 12 yards in the penalty shootout, whereas Panic was the only RFS player to miss from the spot in the second leg, allowing RFS to advance in the Champions League.

Defending their 2022 Veikkausliiga title will require Toni Koskela’s team to make up some ground, but they enter the first leg off a 3-1 victory against Vaasan Palloseura. However, the second-round jinx has befallen the hosts recently in the Champions League.

Since the turn of the century, the Finnish champions have exited at the group stage in the last three seasons and have never progressed beyond the third round of qualifying.

HJK Helsinki vs Plzen – Betting Analysis

Even though HJK has won five of their past seven games at home, they will at least have a chance of qualifying for the Europa League if they lose this first leg. Koskela’s team were Europa Conference League group-stage participants last year.

For the first time in four years, Viktoria Plzen won a title in the Czech First League, despite finishing behind Slavia Prague in the regular season standings.

Although Slavia Prague finished the season seven points ahead of Michal Bilek’s team after winning six of their final seven games, their pre-season friendlies have been a mixed bag.

They scored 15 goals in three wins over Slovan Bratislava, Taborsko, and Slavia Karlovy Vary, but they lost all three exhibition matches against Botosani, Sint-Truiden, and Besiktas.

As a result of their failure to qualify for the Conference League group stage last season, the visitors missed out on continental competition, but they have made it to the Champions League proper three times before and are hoping to halt a record of three consecutive second-round defeats here.

HJK Helsinki vs Plzen – Head -to- Head

HJK Helsinki vs Plzen
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Our Prediction: Both Teams to Score