Riga FC V HJK Helsinki Betting Tips: Under 2.5 Goals – 6 August 2019

Tight affair predicted in Latvia

Europa League Tips

Riga FC V HJK Helsinki

Tuesday, 6th August 2019 – 17:00 Kick-Off
UEFA Europa League Third Round
Pick: Under 2.5 Goals
Odds: 13/20
Bookmaker: MarathonBet

1 X 2
33/20 21/10 33/20

* (All betting odds displayed were correct as of 5th August 2019 at 12:55)

Preview: Earlier in the campaign, Riga FC and HJK Helsinki were harbouring hopes of reaching the Champions League proper. However, their respective paths were blocked which leaves them facing off against each other in the qualifying rounds of the Europa League. The Daugava Stadium in Latvia – which is not the true residence of the hosts, Riga FC – will be the venue for this encounter.

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Riga FC Preview – Lack of usual home comforts concerning?

Formed as recently as 2014, Riga FC wasted little time asserting themselves on Latvian football and can already boast two league titles (2017 and 2018). Their lead during the current term, which stands at three points whilst having a game in hand on their rivals, is indication of a club enjoying some positive trajectory. However, translating that in European competition hasn’t been as straightforward.

The Latvian champions remain novices on the continent having contested only six matches so far (W2 D2 L2), and all in the past two seasons. Their ties have followed the same pattern of being closely-fought affairs, exiting via penalties on two occasions – including in the very first round of Champions League qualification just last month, when losing to Dundalk following goalless draws in both legs – while the most recent saw them benefit from the away goals rule to edge out Polish champs Piast Gliwice 4-4 on aggregate.

Another notable trend has been strong displays at home, where Riga are yet to suffer a single loss (W2 D1). A 1-0 victory over Bulgaria’s CSKA Sofia last season has been backed up by that aforementioned 0-0 draw with Dundalk and a 2-1 come-from-behind win against Piast. Therefore if they are to prevail over the course of the two games against their Finnish opposition here, the catalyst would, in all likelihood, need to stem from another solid showing in Latvia.

However, it is certainly worth mentioning how this match will be held at the Daugava Stadium, which is not the usual home of Riga FC. Earlier meetings with Dundalk and Piast were both held at their Skonto Stadion where they were 4-0 winners over Daugavpils in the latest league encounter for the capital club on July 20.

0-0 Correct Score
13/2

Bet365

 

HJK Helsinki Preview – Away woes too off-putting? 

Demoted from Champions League qualifying following a 3-2 aggregate defeat to Serbian champions Red Star Belgrade a week ago, Finland’s HJK Helsinki will be hoping to fare better in Europe’s second tier competition. Unfortunately, though, a dire record as the visiting side could very well scupper those ambitions.

Despite managing to record a fairly impressive 2-1 victory over Red Star Belgrade at home last time out, with their winning goal arriving deep into stoppage time at the end of the match, in truth HJK Helsinki came up well short in the tie. Most of the damage was inflicted in Serbia, where the Finnish champions fell to a 2-0 loss to extend their barren run in Europe to four games without a win on the road (D2 L2).

Before facing Serbia’s finest, HJK were successful in eliminating Faroe Islands side HB Torshavn 5-2 on aggregate, but only after a late scare in which they went 2-0 down in the away leg. Toni Koskela’s team eventually rallied to produce a spirited second-half fightback and earn a 2-2 draw. Considering the ease with which they won the home leg 3-0 though, which was achieved whilst playing most of the contest a man light, it only serves to highlight how vulnerable the Finnish outfit often tend to be on their travels.

Domestically, though, the club are currently unbeaten in four away fixtures (W3 D1), although their overall record in the Finnish Veikkausliiga as the away side (W3 D4 L2, GF8 GA9) exposes those same susceptibilities. HJK find themselves languishing down in 5th place overall (W6 D9 L3, GF20 GA18), which is some way off last season’s title winning pace.

 

Riga FC V HJK Helsinki Key Facts:

  • Riga are still to lose a European game as the designated home side (W2 D1).
  • HJK have failed to win any of their previous four away matches in European competition (D2 L2).
  • Two of Riga’s three home matches in Europe have produced one goal or fewer. Meanwhile HJK have failed to score in three of their last four away European fixtures.

 

Betting Summary

Latvian champions Riga FC have been rather impressive at home in Europe (W2 D1) but I am not sure exactly how relevant that is when this particular contest will be staged away from their Skonto Stadium. It isn’t easy second guessing how much of an impact this might have, if any at all. Results at home to Dundalk (0-0) and Piast Gliwice (W2-1) in Europe this season were both earned at their official home.

The visitors are not renowned for their travelling capabilities, though. Finnish champs HJK Helsinki are without a win in four away from home in Europe (D2 L2), failing to even score in three of those, and have only one victory in their last seven such fixtures (W1 D2 L4). Although they are currently enjoying a four match unbeaten run domestically as the away side (W3 D1).

There is no standout selection here. However, neither are exactly prolific. Riga have scored 0, 1 and 2 goals in their three home European games to date while HJK have failed to net in three of their previous four away from home in Europe and averaged below a goal per game back in Finland when travelling. Under 2.5 Goals is thin at 13/20 but has solid claims. The draw would be my preference in the Match Odds market.


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