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europa league logoUp the Clarets all but crashed this afternoon as we awaited the draw for the second qualifying round of the Europa League. Would we be going to Eastern Europe, maybe Scandinavia or one of the Baltic States? No, we are going to North East Scotland to face Scottish Premiership club Aberdeen.

I’ve only been to the Granite City once. That was back in the 1970s. It wasn’t for a football match either and the weather was such that I suffered from sun stroke.

Hopefully, my second visit will enable me to watch Burnley play an away game in European competition for the first ever time. As the draw, delayed for over 45 minutes, got underway, and Aberdeen were one of the five possibles, it seemed almost inevitable that it would be a trip to Scotland and that’s what happened.

Aberdeen, like us, had an excellent 2017/18 season, finishing second in the Scottish Premiership which allowed them to join the Europa League at the second qualifying round stage.

Following the draw, their manager Derek McInnes, who was linked with Burnley both as a player and manager, said: “We’ll be playing against a team that has done exceptionally well in what is regarded as the best league in the world.

“It should be a fabulous contest, there are favourites in every tie and they’re seeded for a good reason. We know we’ll be big underdogs for this one but, rest assured, we’ll be doing all we possibly can to cause an upset.”

“There will be a terrific atmosphere at Pittodrie and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a sell out.”

Clarets’ boss Sean Dyche said: “Everyone knows it could have been anything, looking at the draw with the amount of different teams from different countries involved, and lo and behold we get someone just up the road. But we’ve worked hard to get here and we’ll look forward to the challenge it brings. We know we won’t be travelling far, so it won’t be too unfamiliar. It brings focus to the end part of the pre-season now that we know who we’ve got and we can prepare for what should be a competitive cup tie alongside our planning for the Premier League.”

That first leg at Pittodrie is expected to be played on Thursday 26th July with the home leg a week later.

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