Sligo Rovers make their long-awaited return to the European stage having last featured in the 2014/2015 campaign. Icelandic side FH Hafnarfjarðar provide the opposition for the Bit O’Red in the opening round of the UEFA Conference League. Overview
Sligo Rovers make their long-awaited return to the European stage having last featured in the 2014/2015 campaign.
Icelandic side FH Hafnarfjarðar provide the opposition for the Bit O’Red in the opening round of the UEFA Conference League.
08/07 – First Leg – FH Hafnarfjarðar v Sligo Rovers, KO 19:00 (stream TBC)
15/07 – Second Leg – Sligo Rovers v FH Hafnarfjarðar. KO 18:00 (stream available on LOITV website in the coming days @ €10)
FH Hafnarfjordur have claimed the Icelandic Úrvalsdeild title on eight occasions, most recently in 2016 and qualified for this year’s UEFA Conference League by virtue of a second placed finish last season.
A familiar name in the FH squad is striker Steven Lennon who played nine times for Dundalk in 2010 and was named the Úrvalsdeild Player of the Season for 2020 with 19 goals in 22 games.
FH goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen who has 61 caps for the Faroe Islands was on the end of a Robbie Keane hattrick on the occasion of his record breaking 126th appearance for the Boys In Green. Nielsen also spent time at Manchester City, Motherwell and Stjarnan who Bohemians face on Thursday.
Current form and Statistics
FH Hafnarfjarðar have started their 2021 season slowly having only won 3 of their opening 11 matches, sitting eight position.
When it comes to the final third, FH have the third highest shots attempted and crosses in the Úrvalsdeild. They also top the charts for fouls suffered and of their 14 goals this season, two have been penalties and one free kick.
Last seasons strong showing was in no small part down to their strong defensive record which say them only concede 23 goals all season which was the second lowest in the league.
This year, FH have a strong challenge intensity and have the second fewest shots against in among the 12 team division.
The Icelandic side like to keep the ball with average possession this season is 56.9% which is the second highest in the league.
Their passing stats are impressive and they top their league charts for passes to the final third, deep passes and rank second for overall passes (5,146) and key passes (49).
FH put it up to Dundalk in 2016 as they overcame the Icelandic side 3-3 on aggregate (away goals) on route to the Europa League Group stages. Stephen Kenny’s men had David McMillan to thank who scored a brace in Reykjavik.
They defeated Northern Irish side Glenavon 6-2 on aggregate in 2014-15 and in 2008, they were knocked out at the UEFA Cup Second Qualifying Round by an Aston Villa side managed by Martin O’Neill.
Last season they were lost their Europa League First Qualifying Round one legged tie 2-0 against Slovakian side FC DAC 1904 Dunajská Streda.
Key Player - Ágúst Hlynsson
Despite the experienced Neilsen in goal, Hlynsson has been their standout player this term chipping in with four goals and two assists in ten games. The Iceland U21 international spent time at Norwich and Danish side Brøndby before joining FH on loan from parent club AC Horsens.
Manager - Ólafur Jóhannesson
Appointed in June 2021, Jóhannesson is back at FH for a third spell as Manager and having previously managed the Icelandic National Team from 2007 – 2011. Between FH and fellow Úrvalsdeild side Valur, Jóhannesson has won five league titles and three Icelandic Cups since 2004.