Aberdeen vs Burnley Preview: Dons looking to end Clarets European Tour early

Burnley fans have been dreaming of this day since their inclusion into this season's Europa League was confirmed with two games to spare at the end of the last campaign.

Aberdeen vs Burnley Preview: Dons looking to end Clarets European Tour early
Burnley look to build on last season's successes, opening their campaign with a Europa League qualifier against Aberdeen. PICTURE: GettyImages, Jan Kruger

Burnley begin their competitive season with the start of their Europa League campaign against Aberdeen at Pittodrie.

Will experience prove key for the hosts?

The game marks the Clarets return to European football for the first time in 51 years after finishing seventh in an impressive 2017/18 Premier League season.

For their opponents, Aberdeen have qualified for the Europa League in each of the last five seasons under Derek McInnes, who was present at Burnley’s 3-2 pre season win at Preston North End on Monday.

The Dons finished second behind Celtic in the Scottish Premiership to qualify for the competition, and are looking to better their performance from last years competition where they were knocked at the third round of qualifying.

Aberdeen will be hoping their recent experiences in the competition help them over the edge against a relatively inexperienced Clarets side.

Neither team is yet to really hit the market this summer

Aberdeen have made a few signings, bringing in Tomas Cerny from Partick Thistle, Stephen Gleeson from Ipswich Town and Tommie Hoban from Watford.

Most notably for the Dons, they have lost experienced striker Adam Rooney to Salford City, which could prove costly as the big forward scored 66 goals in 151 games for the club and he has yet to be replaced.

Sean Dyche is yet to make a signing in this window but has also managed to hold onto the majority of his squad for next season, with many of his key players committing to the Clarets amid interest following their successful season.

Few notable injuries for both managers to contend with.

McInnes will have the majority of his sqaud available after Scott Wright recovered from a knock, however Mark Reynolds, Greg Tansey and Frank Ross have all been ruled out through injury.

The three previously mentioned new signings will be included in the squad, whereas Dyche will be relying on the set of players that lifted the Clarets to seventh last season.

Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood are back in contention to start up front after missing Monday’s friendly at Deepdale, whereas Robbie Brady won’t be risked as he looks set to return from a knee injury after nearly eight months out in the near future.

Who awaits the winner?

Istanbul Basaksehir await the winners in the third qualifying round, but first these two teams have two games against each other to get past, with the decisive second leg taking place at Turf Moor next Thursday