Aberdeen head in to this Europa League qualifier knowing that too many of their domestic rivals have tasted defeat in this competition already. It may only be the second qualifying round, but the Dons are already the only Scottish side left in the competition. An embarrassing exit for Rangers and sloppy displays from St Johnstone have severely dented Scotland’s standing in Europe.
Aberdeen are widely expected to end Scotland’s poor results in this competition, as they’re heavy favourites to see off Siroki Brijeg at home in this qualifying tie. The Bosnian side aren’t a huge European name, but neither were Progres Niederkorn or Trakai. The hosts need to be wary, or they risk being the latest Premiership team to suffer an early exit.
The Dons will need to be worried about their defensive form, having kept two clean sheets in 11 in the Europa League. They’ve found the step up to European football difficult, despite being comfortably the second-best side in Scotland over recent years. They’ve been unable to kick on in Europe with Rangers struggling, but could they make a push for the group stage this season?
We think the visitors will be confident of causing a shock, having seen sides come to Scotland and pick up results. Siroki midfielder Luka Menalo has talked up their hopes, saying that they can shock any side who doesn’t take them seriously.
Aberdeen have seen both teams score in five of their last seven European ties, so we’re backing goals in this tie. The Dons should be able to get on the scoresheet here, but we see more problems for the Scots in Europe. Both teams to score is our tip here, which is well priced at 11/10 with bet365. We’re also going with a 2-1 win for the hosts, which is priced at 8/1 with bet365.
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