Haka and Crusaders square off in the first leg of their UEFA Europa Conference League qualifying tie on Thursday (July 13).
The hosts are coming off a 2-2 home draw at home against Inter Turku in the league last weekend. All four goals were scored in the first half, with Stavros Zarokostas scoring a brace for Haka to help them come from behind twice.
Crusaders, meanwhile, kickstarted their new campaign with victory in the Northern Irish Charity Shield. Jarlarth O’Rourke and James Teelan scored second-half goals to inspire the win.
Haka booked their spot in the Conference League qualifiers courtesy of their second-place finish in the Finnish Veikkausliiga. Crusaders’ 4-0 win over Ballymena in the Northern Irish Cup final saw them qualify.
The winner of this tie will face Rosenberg in the second round of the qualifiers.
Haka vs Crusaders Head-to-Head and Key Numbers
- This will be the first meeting between the two sides.
- Haka are on a ten-game winless run across competitions, losing six games.
- Five of Crusaders’ last six competitive games have produced at least three goals.
- Haka’s last nine home game across competitions have had goals at both ends.
- Crusaders are unbeaten in seven away games, drawing five.
- Haka have drawn seven of their last eight home games across competitions, including the last four.
- Haka are competing in Europe for the first time since 2008.
Haka vs Crusaders Prediction
Haka have struggled for consistency in recent months and are on a ten-game winless run across competitions. This lack of confidence could be detrimental to their chances of success in their first continental campaign in over a decade.
Crusaders, meanwhile, will be in confident mood, having won the Charity Shield at the start of the month. Haka have shown a penchant for draws in home games, while Crusaders have also shared the spoils in most of their away games.
Haka enter the game as the slight favourites, but their form does not suggest that they can make their home advantage count. Expect the two sides to cancel each other out in a low-scoring draw.
Prediction: Haka 1-1 Crusaders
Haka vs Crusaders Betting Tips
Tip 1 – Result: Draw
Tip 2 – Both teams to score
Tip 3 – Under 2.5 goals