HJK – Ludogorets Predictions
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HJK 1-1 Ludogorets
Date: 06.10.2022 | Match at: 17:45 | League: EUROPA LEAGUE – GROUP STAGE – ROUND 3 | Tip: Over 1.5 Goals | Odds: 1.30 | Bookie: Unibet.
HJK – Ludogorets Predictions and PREVIEW
- It’s a clash of champions in UEFA Europa League (UEL) Group C as Finnish title holders HJK welcome their Bulgarian counterparts, Ludogorets. Facing much tougher opponents in the UEL than in Finland, HJK are yet to earn their first point in this group after conceding five goals without reply across their opening two matches, yet the fact that they’re potentially just one win away from securing a 32nd Finnish championship may inspire confidence.
- This is only HJK’s second encounter with Bulgarian opponents, and they will hope for a repeat of their 1-0 win over Beroe Stara Zagora back in 2016/17 UEL qualifying to stand them in good stead to challenge for springtime European football at the group’s halfway stage. HJK may feel a win is coming as their three historical UEFA groups each saw them win at least once, although it doesn’t guarantee success as they were ultimately eliminated at this stage on each occasion.
- No club in Europe currently boasts a longer streak of domestic title wins than Ludogorets’ 11, although back-to-back winless games in the Parva Liga (D1, L1) suggests that a 12th isn’t a foregone conclusion. This is the Eagles’ sixth consecutive campaign in the UEL group stage and it has started relatively well, ending their club-record 18-game winless UEL run with a 2-1 win over Roma, albeit proving their unpredictable nature with a 3-2 defeat to Betis in the next round.
- There is no H2H history with Finnish opponents to cast the gaze over, but a win here may well be the ticket to springtime European football given Ludogorets have only qualified from UEL groups across the previous five seasons when winning away. With a tough trip to Roma waiting in the wings, it could be now or never for the Razgrad outfit if they are to find that away win.
- Key battle: HJK striker David Browne has scored twice and has also picked up as many bookings in his six European appearances this season. He will try to beat Ludogorets keeper Sergio Padt who is his former Groningen teammate between 2016-2018, and who only has two clean sheets across his last eight appearances.
- Hot stat: Ludogorets’ last eight European away games averaged 3.75 total goals per game, six of which saw both teams score.