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1718 burnley turf moor 07 1000x500Just a week ago we were involved in the first leg of our Europa League qualifier against Aberdeen at Pittodrie. There was a brilliant atmosphere inside the stadium, created by both the home and away supporters, as the two sides fought out a 1-1 draw.

Tonight we’ll hopefully witness another great atmosphere with, we all hope, a home win to see us through to the next round and a trip to Turkey.

Liverpool fans always talk about European nights at Anfield bringing with them a special atmosphere and tonight’s game has taken me back 52 seasons to that wonderful night when we beat Napoli in the old Fairs Cup. I was just days past my 15th birthday then and was privileged to have been in the cricket field end. Before or since, I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed an atmosphere quite like it inside our ground.

It’s not Napoli and their resident thug Dino Panzanato but Aberdeen from Scotland, the first Scottish team to play a competitive game here since Celtic in 1978 and I’m thankfully certainly not expecting an atmosphere like that.

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We are looking forward to it and so are the players. Yesterday Matt Lowton, who has just signed an extended deal, said: “I think the expectation is growing on us all the time. The last few seasons we’ve had built that up. That’s what we play for. The expectation is there for us to go out and live up to.

“We can’t wait to get out there again. We felt in the first leg we didn’t play as well as we can. Going up there we were under no illusion we were going to have a tough tie and it’s going to be the same again on Thursday night.

“They scored first and sat in, which is tough to break down. Getting an away goal was key for us and it’s going to be another big game. Turf Moor at night is always special, so hopefully we can give the fans another great night.”

Lowton will line up in a team that has to show at least one change from that which started at Pittodrie. Goalkeeper Nick Pope, who came in for Tom Heaton, suffered a serious shoulder injury. He’ll be out of action for a while and Tom isn’t ready to return so that will see Anders Lindegaard get his first start having come on and done well as a substitute last week.

The only other change we made during the game was to bring on Sam Vokes for Jeff Hendrick. He scored our goal, which means he’s scored our first competitive goal in each of the last four seasons, and could well have earned himself a place in the team.

It could be that we’ll start with the team that finished which was: Anders Lindegaard, Matt Lowton, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee, Stephen Ward, Aaron Lennon, Ashley Westwood, Jack Cork, Jόhann Berg Guðmundsson, Sam Vokes, Chris Wood. Subs from: Adam Legzdins, Adam Bruce, Phil Bardsley, Kevin Long, Charlie Taylor, Jeff Hendrick, Jon Walters, Nahki Wells, Ashley Barnes.

Aberdeen have a fully fit squad to select from which means Mark Reynolds, Frank Ross and Greg Tansey, who all missed last week’s first leg with injury, are fit to return. Andy Considine has also been added to the squad having returned to training.

As a reminder the Aberdeen team last week was: Joe Lewis, Shay Logan, Michael Devlin, Scott McKenna, Tommy Hoban, Graeme Ferguson (Stephen Gleeson 57), Dominic Ball, Graeme Shinnie, Niall McGinn (Scott Wright 79), Sam Cosgrove (Stevie May 76), Gary Mackay-Steven. Subs not used: Tomáš Černy, Christopher Forrester, Dean Campbell, Bruce Anderson.

Kick off tonight is 7:45 – a special night indeed as European football returns to Turf Moor.

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