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Prediction: HJK Helsinki vs Neftchi Baku – Football Predictions

Check out our analysis, team news, line-ups and see our prediction for this match.

HJK Helsinki and Neftchi Baku Head into the second leg of hers Europe League Third qualifying round tie aggregated 2-2.

Whoever prevails from this encounter will meet the Turkish giant Fenerbahce in the playoff round.

Prediction for this match

You have to look back on the 2014-15 season, in which HJK Helsinki last qualified for the main round of a European competition and put in a respectable performance in the Europa League with third place in their group.

Meanwhile, Neftchi Baku’s most notable performance in the last decade hit the same stage in 2012-13 when he picked up three points from games against Inter Milan, Rubin Kazan and Partizan Belgrade.

However, with the formation of the UEFA Conference League, these two teams have practically two options to extend their European season until Christmas.

That tie is well prepared at halftime after Neftchi Baku equalized 10 minutes from time in the return leg in Azerbaijan.

It only took HJK six minutes into the second half to close an earlier deficit, but Emin Mahmudov scored a potentially important goal just before the final whistle.

After deliberation, both teams will be relatively happy with the outcome of the first leg, especially HJK, who has been playing regularly for several months.

On the flip side, Neftchi has been limited to games on the continent, with Thursday’s game being only their sixth game after doubles with Dinamo Tbilisi and Olympiakos.

The positives could be drawn from the fact that the latter of those opponents got boggled, as did HJK testing a Malmö outfit that defeated the Rangers last week.

While Fenerbahce awaits the winners of this competition, anyone stuck will have to face either Mura or Zalgiris in the Conference League.

HJK Helsinki form (all competitions):
  • L.
  • W.
  • D.
  • D.
  • D.
  • W.
Neftchi Baku Form (all competitions):
  • W.
  • W.
  • L.
  • L.
  • D.

See all team news

With promotion to the next round being the priority of both clubs, you can assume that each starting grid will be similar to last week.

However, Neftchi Baku could be forced to make a change with a goalkeeper Agil Mammadov to be replaced in the early stages of the first leg.

The choice of Kamran Ibrahimov could prove to be the only change with Samir Abbasov Holding on to the outfield players who impressed in Finland.

Riku Riski could be recalled to the first XI, HJK improved after being replaced David Browne in the early stages of the second half.

HJK Helsinki possible starting line-up:
Tannander; Moren, Tenho, O’Shaughnessy, Murillo; R. Riski, Lingman, Jair, Saksela; Riski, Valencic

Neftchi Baku possible starting line-up:
Ibrahimow; Harramiz, Mbodj, Stankovic, Basque; Nacafov, Mahmudov, Kane, Lawal; Meza Colli, Bougrine

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Probability: HJK Helsinki 2-1 Neftchi Baku (4-3 against Helsinki overall)

Despite their impressive record over the past few months, HJK Helsinki has not been able to convince in their most recent games.

Nevertheless, we are predicting a narrow victory for the Finns and bringing them one step closer to building on the development of the national team over the past 18 months.

Best betting tip for this match

Our expert tipster partners at forecast less than 3.5 goals in this game. Click here to see more football predictions to see what else they are predicting for this game and for more proven soccer tips.Under 3.5: data

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