Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes insists Sporting Clube de Portugal will still present a major challenge to his side’s hopes of reaching the playoff round of the Europa League despite a Covid-19 outbreak at the club.
Nine players will miss the third qualifying round tie against the Dons tomorrow as they have tested positive while manager Ruben Amorim will also be absent from the dugout as he is also in isolation following a positive test.
But Sporting have still named a 24-man squad for the game and McInnes has warned his players to expect a major test at the Jose Alavade Stadium in Lisbon.
The Aberdeen manager said: “A club like Sporting are not going to have bad players hanging about. They are going to have a level of player who are pushing the first team, the majority of their first team players will be involved.
“It might disrupt them but it doesn’t make it any less of a tougher opponent bearing in mind the size of their club.
“Since the manager has come in they have stuck with the same system so we can probably second guess the system they are going to play but in terms of personal we will not have a clue in terms of the team they will put out.
“We won’t know until the team line comes in but they have got a huge squad to choose from and we are looking forward to it.”
Aberdeen travel out to Portugal today ahead of Uefa’s decision tomorrow on whether the match will go ahead. The Sporting squad was tested yesterday and will be tested again today to ensure they are all negative for the visit of the Dons but McInnes expects the match to go ahead.
He said: “We are expecting the game to be played.
“We have to trust the authorities, Uefa and the medical teams. No one is going to endanger other clubs and therefore putting us at risk and the rest of the country at risk.
“I think these sorts of decisions will be made for the right reasons. If the authorities think it is right and safe to play the game, then we play the game.”
Ryan Edmondson will travel today after making his return to first team action in Sunday’s 3-0 loss to Motherwell but Matty Kennedy is not expected to feature again this month after missing the last two matches.
McInnes said: “He will miss the next couple of games. The likelihood for him, Mikey Devlin and Sam Cosgrove would be the week after the international break that they would return.”