HJK Helsinki boss Toni Korkeakunnas revealed he has sent photos of the heavy snow in the Finnish capital to Richard Jensen to let Aberdeen know the harsh conditions they will play in.
The Dons face HJK Helsinki in a Europa Conference League Group G clash on Thursday.
Helsinki has been hit with heavy snow blizzards with more snow forecast for the day of the Euro clash.
The mercury is forecast to drop to a bone-chilling -17C due to the wind-chill factor when the Dons play at HJK Helsinki’s Bolt Arena.
Korkeakunnas, who also has a coaching job with the Finnish national team, is good friends with Aberdeen centre-back Jensen, who is a Finnish international.
The HJK boss reckons his side should have beaten Aberdeen when the two clubs drew 1-1 at Pittodrie in October.
Now he aims to shoot down the Dons in Finland to gain the edge in the race to finish third in Group G.
He said: “I have been talking with Richard Jensen every day, sending him pictures of the snow and the weather.
“Just so Aberdeen know exactly where they’re coming to.
“We think we can give Aberdeen a hard time.”
Emotional farewell for HJK manager
Korkeakunnas has warned Aberdeen he aims to bow out in his final home game with the Finnish champions on a high.
Thursday’s Euro clash against the Reds is the 55-year-old’s final match at the Bolt Arena.
Korkeakunnas recently led HJK Helsinki to the Finnish league title, their fourth in succession.
However despite that title win he will be replaced next season by Ferran Sibila, 35, who is currently assistant at Swedish club Malmo.
The Finnish season finished in October and the Euro group games are HJK Helsinki’s final fixtures of their campaign.
It is set to be an emotional night against the Dons as it will also mark the last home game of club legend Perparim Hetemaj.
Finnish international Hetemaj, who has been capped 49 times, is set to retire.
At least six more players will also play their final home game on Thursday as they are set to exit the club.
Korkeakunnas said: “It is my last game and it will also be the final night here for a lot of the team.
“I stay 300 metres from the stadium so I want to win so I can walk around with my head high.
“It will be an emotional evening as Perparim Hetemaj will play his final game before becoming a coach.
“He is a legend of the club.
“Perparim played here as a youth player before going to Italy.
“He had around 300 games in Serie A and Serie B before coming back here.
“He has been one of the biggest names in Finnish football for a long time so it is a big chapter of football history in this country.
“Perparim is a great player and a great person.”
Final home game for many players
Thursday’s clash will also be the final appearance at the Bolt Arena for Roope Riski, Aleksi Paananen, Niko Hämäläinen, Filip Rogić, Kristopher Da Graca and Matti Peltola.
Korkeakunnas said: “There is around a third of the team moving on so everyone is focused on saying a nice farewell to the fans.
“It has been an honour for us all to be here with these supporters.
“We want to win it because it’s the final match for so many of us. We are ready!”
Strong record at the Bolt Arena
HJK Helsinki are currently bottom of Group G on one point with Aberdeen third on two points.
Neither the Dons nor HJK Helsinki can progress from the groups.
Due to the Finnish league having concluded HJK Helsinki have not played since a 1-0 home loss to Eintracht Frankfurt on November 9
Korkeakunnas believes his side should have triumphed in the Granite City.
The HJK Helsinki boss insists it will be a far tougher proposition in Finland for the Dons.
He said: “It is difficult to play here.
“We have beaten the Norwegian (Molde) and Romanian (FCV Farul Constanta) champions this season.
“Last year we played good games against Roma nd Betis, we didn’t win them but it was close.
“Against Frankfurt and PAOK, we played well and I still don’t understand why our goal against Frankfurt didn’t stand.
“We deserved a draw against a top team, so I think we have shown we’re pretty tough here.
“It’s not easy for teams to come here.
“For spells of the game against Aberdeen in Scotland we were the better team.
“I think we should have won it and it gives us an extra boost and motivation to get a win.”
HJK Helsinki's Bolt Arena ahead of Europa Conference League Group G clash with Aberdeen. Around 1,500 Dons fans will be at the game. More snow forecast. @AberdeenFC @hjkhelsinki @europacnfleague #aberdeenfc pic.twitter.com/FyjRUIN0f9
— Sean Wallace (@EESeanWallace) November 29, 2023
Striker warns of weather conditions
Meanwhile, striker Bojan Radulović believes Aberdeen could struggle to cope with the conditions and surface at the Bolt Arena which has an artificial pitch.
Radulovic scored the goal against Aberdeen at Pittodrie.
He said: “Not plying for three weeks is maybe a handicap for us.
“However you never know it may also be a handicap for Aberdeen as they may be tired after so many games.
“They played a tough game against Rangers then travelled here.
“It is a game that we expect we can win because we know it is hard for everyone to play on this surface in this weather.”