Finland in Europe: 2024/25 Coefficient Preview

The 2024/25 European season is quickly approaching, with 236 clubs set to compete in UEFA’s continental club competitions this season.

With the first qualifying round draws less than two weeks away, Extratime Talk will be providing a comprehensive coefficient preview. Between now and then, each country will be previewed, and all clubs participating in Europe for the 2024/25 season are discussed.

In these articles, we will provide analyses of what to expect from each country in Europe. We will explore what is on the line from a coefficient standpoint, and the keys to succeeding, in that country’s case.

For article 17, we explore Finland, and what we can expect from the clubs in the 2024/25 season.

Finland In Europe: Country Profile

Previous Season Coefficient (Rank)1.750 (39th)
Previous Season’s 5-Year Coefficient (Rank)11.125 (34th)
Starting 5-Year Coefficient (Rank)9.500 (34th)

A rather disappointing 2023/23 campaign saw Finland lose out on 33rd spot to a resurging Kazakhstan. With less than 2.000 coefficient points won, the Nordic nation finished 34th. It is that exact position where they will commence the 2024/25 season, where they will look to pass Kosovo and/or Ireland for 33rd spot.

The country’s two European regulars – HJK and KuPS – are back, and will be joined by Ilves and VPS. As a guaranteed Europa League qualifiers spot on the line, this quartet can ill-afford a repeat of last summer’s poor showing. The chance is there for the Finnish clubs to do something big for the country’s football.

Finland In Europe: Club Profile

ClubQualified AsRound of EntryTotal European SeasonsLast Season’s Performance5-Year Club Coefficient (2023/24)5-Year Country Coefficient Contribution, 2023/24 (%)
HJKDomestic ChampionUCL Q141UECL Group Stage11.5005.625 (50.56%)
IlvesCup WinnerUECL Q2, Main Path7N/A2.2250.250 (2.25%)
KuPSDomestic Runner-upUECL Q117UECL Q210.0003.375 (30.34%)
IlvesDomestic Play-off Tournament WinnerUECL Q16N/A2.225N/A

League champions for the fourth year running, HJK enters the Champions League in the first qualifying round. As a result of making a European group stage in each of the last three seasons, the Helsinki-based side is responsible for half of Finland’s five-year coefficient. They will be seeded in the first two rounds of Champions League qualifying, which will give them a favourable path to making another main round appearance.

Ilves makes a return to continental football four years on from their last appearance. In what is their seventh continental campaign, the side from Tampere will look to progress from a tie for just the second time. They start in UECL Q2, and will be unseeded for the draw. That makes their task in qualifying for Q3 all the more difficult.

Once again, KuPS ran it close with HJK for the Veikkausliiga title. Yet, as has regularly been the case, they are unable to get over the line. KuPS, being Finland’s other European regular, will be seeded for the first three rounds of Conference League qualifying. That could work for their advantage, although they lost at the first hurdle last summer to Derry City as a seeded team.

Rounding out the group is VPS, who won a five-team tournament to qualify. They will join KuPS in UECL Q1. Their last European season came in 2017/18. Back then, they stunned Olimpija Ljubljana in the first round. That was the second time they progressed from a two-legged continental matchup. As they will be unseeded in UECL Q1, they will look to pull off another shock result.

Finland’s Season Ambitions

As mentioned earlier, Finland’s goal should be to finish in the top 33. Just like last season, there will be several countries that will have the same ambition, especially since there are five associations between 33rd (Ireland) and 39th (Kazakhstan), separated by 1.500 points. But, that should seldom change Finland’s aim for the year.

Direct clashes will be key here, so the Finnish clubs in UECL qualifying will have to keep that in mind. That was one of the issues last season why Finland ended up with a relatively low coefficient. Get past a round at the expense of a rival, and things will look very good for them.

What a Successful Season Look Like for Finland

At this point, HJK should be expected to make a league phase, especially seeing that they are seeded for two rounds in the UCL. Anything leads than that will put the Finnish coefficient in serious trouble. KuPS will also have a small chance at a league phase as they are seeded for three rounds in the UECL. If they even get to the playoff round, that is a good showing.

For Ilves and VPS, any points they accumulate should be seen as a bonus. Both clubs Rd unseeded in their round of entry, it nearly impossible for then to get points

What to Expect From Finland in 2024/25

Finland will be in for a fascinating battle for a top 33 spot. Kosovo and Ireland are the two countries above them that are within touching distance. The question is, can Finland make the most of their decent starting point and crack the top 33?

Antonin Bardin from Nordisk Football weighed in on that very question. “It all depends on the draw, but I think there’s a good chance that Finland will finish in the top 33,” said Bardin. The (Finnish) teams involved are pretty solid in their own right, and I think they’ll have an impact.”

However, when speaking on which club will have the biggest impact, Bardin’s answer would surprise many people. “HJK has had a very complicated start to the (domestic) season, so I think that KuPS will be the main hope after that.” As for the other two teams, the Nordic football expert raises his doubts. “Ilves and VPS are very good Finnish teams who have developed very well in recent years. But these teams may lack a little European cup experience, especially VPS.”

Much of what Bardin says is true. Ilves and VPS have less seasons of European football combined than either of HJK or KuPS. Still, inexperience is not always a bad thing on the continental scene. Just ask Union Saint-Gilloise.

Given the start that Finland has over the other countries, they should be able to snap up a top 33 place. It is never so simple though, and it will be hard to see where the points come from should one (or both) of HJK or KuPS fail to deliver. The chance is certainly there, but it will require some good results from everyone, something that was missing last season. Thus, do not be surprised if Finland just missed out on the top 33 again.

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