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København and HJK hoping for strong start

HJK Helsinki are hoping for an upturn in fortunes on the road as they open Group B with a trip to FC København, who have won just twice in their last seven European home games.

København failed to make it through the UEFA Champions League play-offs
København failed to make it through the UEFA Champions League play-offs ©Getty Images

The form book would seem to favour FC København as HJK Helsinki make a return to UEFA group stage football in UEFA Europa League Group B.

Form guide
FCK have won just twice in their last seven European home games, with the other five fixtures ending D2 L3.

HJK are without a win in six European away matches (D2 L4) since a 2-1 win at KR Reykjavík in the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League second qualifying round.

• The last seven games between Danish and Finnish sides in UEFA club competition have been won by the Danish team. Only once in 14 European fixtures side has a Finnish club beaten a Danish side in Denmark, FC Jazz overcoming FCK 1-0 in the 1994/95 UEFA Cup preliminary round. That remains FCK's sole defeat in six meetings with Finnish clubs – and they won the return fixture in Pori 4-0.

Trivia and links
HJK are making only their second appearance in a major UEFA competition group stage, having reached the same phase of the 1998/99 UEFA Champions League.

HJK's Danish goalkeeper Michael Tørnes competed for a first-team place with his FCK counterpart Stephan Andersen when the two played together at Brøndby IF (2007-11).

The coaches
FCK's Norwegian coach Ståle Solbakken earned 58 caps during a successful playing career, which ended abruptly after he suffered a heart attack. Having won five Danish titles in his first spell as the club's coach, Solbakken returned to FCK in 2013.

HJK coach Mika Lehkosuo was a midfielder for the club when they played in the 1998/99 UEFA Champions League, captaining the side after a brief spell in Italy with AC Perugia. Capped 17 times, he coached FC Honka Espoo before taking over at HJK in April 2014.

• Solbakken and Lehkosuo met as players in 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifying; Lehkosuo's Finland earned a 1-1 draw in Oslo, but Solbakken struck the first goal as Norway won the return fixture in Helsinki 4-0.