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HJK logo
Europa Conference League | Group Stage
Nov 30, 2023 at 5.45pm UK
Bolt Arena
Aberdeen logo
HJK Helsinki
2 - 2
Bande (16'), Hostikka (33')
Keskinen (86'), Lingman (90+2')
FT(HT: 2-1)
MacDonald (41'), Lopes (56')
Barron (42'), Devlin (86')

Preview: HJK Helsinki vs. Aberdeen - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa Conference League clash between HJK Helsinki and Aberdeen, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

HJK Helsinki and Aberdeen square off in the Europa Conference League on Thursday evening looking for the win that may result in them finishing in third place in Group G.

Both teams have already been eliminated from the competition with two matches to spare, yet important coefficient points are at stake for their respective nations.

Match preview

Aberdeen manager Barry Robson on September 21, 2023© Reuters

By all accounts, Aberdeen have endured a pretty dismal campaign where the Scottish Premiership and Europa Conference League group stages are concerned, prevailing in just three of their 16 games in total.

Nevertheless, Barry Robson's side have shown their potential in such matches, impressively earning a 2-2 draw away at Greek giants PAOK on matchday four.

Although they missed out on the win that they required and have since been eliminated, it extended a three-game undefeated streak before they lost 6-0 at Celtic three days later.

Aberdeen returned after the international break to a home fixture with Rangers, leading that contest from the 11th minute before conceding a last-gasp equaliser from the penalty spot.

Robson was left frustrated having missed out on the chance to move closer to the top fourth-placed Hearts - the gap standing at seven points - yet positives will be taken ahead of a match that remains important to both sides.

While there are only marginal rewards in the short term, nations like Finland and Scotland need as many group-stage victories from their teams as possible to help avoid early qualifying round ties in the future.

Helsinki have been competing in their third group-stage in succession, winning just two of 16 such games, but they will view Thursday's match as an opportunity to put themselves favourites to finish in third spot in this group.

Aside from the 6-0 thrashing at Eintracht Frankfurt, HJK have been competitive in the other three games, only succumbing 1-0 to the German giants in the reverse fixture before the international break.

Toni Korkeakunnas's side may be on a four-game losing streak in all competitions, yet the top-flight champions showed enough three weeks ago to suggest that they could be viewed as favourites for this game.

HJK Helsinki Europa Conference League form:

HJK Helsinki form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Aberdeen Europa Conference League form:

Aberdeen form (all competitions):

Team News

HJK Helsinki boss Toni Koskela on November 3, 2022© Reuters

With a three-week break from their last European fixture, HJK will likely line up with the same team unless they have picked up any injuries in training.

As far as Aberdeen are concerned, Robson must decide whether to name a full-strength side and push for third, or rotate with the Scottish Premiership in mind.

They face three fixtures in the space of a week from Sunday, making it more likely that he will tinker with the team that pushed Rangers at the weekend.

Duk stands to be recalled having only been a substitute versus the Glasgow giants, while Angus MacDonald could be handed some game time in the back three.

James McGarry and Dante Polvara are also options at left wing-back and central midfield respectively if Robson opts for more fresh legs.

HJK Helsinki possible starting lineup:
Maenpaa; Soiri, Tenho, Halme, Ollila; Pettola, Lingman, Kanellopou; Bande, Hostikka, Keskinen

Aberdeen possible starting lineup:
Roos; Devlin, Jensen, Rubezic, Gartenmann, McGarry; Shinnie, McGrath, Polvara; Duk, Sokler

SM words green background

We say: HJK Helsinki 1-2 Aberdeen

With a draw having already been played out in the reverse fixture, the indication is that this could be another hard-fought encounter. For us, though, Aberdeen will be full of belief after the PAOK fixture, leading us to predict a narrow triumph for the visitors.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Group A

QSlovan Bratislava631210

Group B

QM. Tel Aviv650115

Group C

QDinamo Zagreb63039
4KF Ballkani61144

Group D


Group E

QAston Villa641113
4Zrinjski Mostar61144

Group F


Group G

4HJK Helsinki60242

Group H

4Spartak Trnava60151

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