Three HJK Helsinki players the Nomads must keep quiet
Connah’s Quay face off against the most successful team in Finland on Thursday night in the hope of advancing further in the UEFA Europa League, but what three players must they be most wary of?
Young Ghanaian striker Evans Mensah is certainly a name to look out for. The 19 year-old scored six times during the 2016/2017 season in 14 starts, including four goals in four in the Veikkeusliiga towards the end of the season, and will be hoping to continue his impressive record when travelling to Flintshire on Thursday evening. The striker was previously plying his trade in Ghana for Inter Allies, but since his move to Finland in 2016 he has thrived.
Akseli Pelvas is another striker who will be hoping to cause the Nomads defence problems on Thursday evening. The 28 year-old has a vast amount of experience in Finland’s top flight, wrapping up over 250 appearances in nine years. The striker is a winner of five Veikkeusliiga’s and the experience in which he has at his disposal could be pivotal for the visitors on Thursday night as they look to gain an advantage ahead of the second leg. The Finnish striker has also scored five goals in the 14 starts he’s made this season.
HJK are a team full of experience and midfielder Atomu Tanaka has it in bundles. He has now been in finland three years, since making the move from Japanese side Albirex Niigata in 2o14. He is a rare breed of goal-scoring midfielders, which is usually associated with players like Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard – during his three years at the club he has scored 15 times, with the 2014/2015 season being his season of prominence, where he scored eight goals.
He hasn’t quite managed to replicate that during the next two seasons, and this season he’s scored a mere two goals, but regardless, he is a player who does have the ability to score from midfield and his experience is no doubt invaluable to HJK – the Nomads will have to ensure the 29 year-old has a quiet evening on Thursday because they could pay the price if they don’t stick tight to the Japanese midfielder.
(Featured Image: Peltimikko)