Aberdeen vs NSI RunavikUEFA Europa League, KO: 19:45 Aug 27, 2020, Pittodrie
ABERDEEN should comfortably avoid a Faroes curse as they get their latest Europa League qualifying campaign underway against NSI Runavik at Pittodrie.
The Dons are old hands at these qualifiers, falling at the third round in five of the last six seasons, so they know exactly what to expect, although the absence of fans is a new factor this time around.
The Premiership season couldn't have started much worse for Aberdeen, with an opening defeat by Rangers followed by the news eight of their players had breached Covid-19 rules by socialising in a crowded bar.
Their next three fixtures were postponed but Derek McInnes' men have responded well since that setback, beating St Johnstone and Livingston (below) on their return to action.
Facing a team from the Faroe Islands at home in their first Euro qualifier seems like a godsend but the minnows are far from cannon fodder.
Runavik battered Welsh side Barry Town 5-1 in the last round so they can land a few punches on the Dons if McInnes' players let their guards down.
How the bookies view it
Aberdeen have suffered from an injury crisis up front, with star striker Sam Cosgrove, Curtis Main and Leeds loanee Ryan Edmondson all crocked. But Marley Watkins has arrived on loan from Bristol City and started up front in the weekend win over Livi. Main also came off the bench in that game to make his comeback so could feature here.
Players to watch
Watkins is 11/10 with McBookie to grab his first Dons goal and 17/4 to break the deadlock. But I'm more drawn to Scott Wright, who is back in the team after missing almost all of last season through injury. The forward scored at the weekend and is 11/8 with McBookie for anytime scorer against Runavik.
Klaemint Olsen scored a hat-trick in NSI's win over Barry and looks their best bet for a goal here at 10/3 with McBookie.
Anything else catch the eye?
I backed Celtic to win to nil against limited opposition when they faced Reykjavik last week. The Dons have only conceded two goals in their three matches so far so I'm on them to shut out Runavik while marching on at 20/21 with Bet365.
Aberdeen haven't been big scorers in these qualifiers with McInnes at the helm. They beat Daugava 5-0 at Pittodrie in 2014 but since then have only scored more than three in a European tie once. So I'm tempted to go under 3.5 goals for this one, although the odds aren't great at 8/11 with most firms.
The odds are far better on the Dons winning both halves at 5/4 with Bet365, which looks pretty good value, although they have been have slow starters so far this season.
If you're dabbling in the correct score market, which is always a tough one, then 3-0 Aberdeen stands out at 13/2 with Bet365.
This UEFA Europa League match between Aberdeen and NSI Runavik will be played on Aug 27, 2020 and kick off at 19:45. Check below for our tipsters best Aberdeen vs NSI Runavik prediction.