Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass has started studying potential Uefa Conference League opponents to ensure there are no Euro surprises.
Glass’ main focus has been on a summer rebuild of his squad in preparation for the Euro second qualifying round tie on Thursday July 22.
However now that domestic seasons are now finished Glass will also take time to get the lowdown on teams the Reds could potentially land in the Euro draw on June 16.
Aberdeen will be seeded for the second qualifying round but Glass aims to do homework on potential opponents to ensure nothing is left to chance.
He aims to have the Dons in the best possible position to make an impact in the new Uefa Conference League with new signings and knowledge about potential opponents.
Glass said: “When the seasons have finished you have a list of teams that we can play against.
“Then you start doing a bit more research on the probable and possible teams so you’ve got less work when the draw is actually made.
“I think there will be a lot of planning on that aspect.”
Aberdeen will have to negotiate three rounds to reach the group stages of Uefa’s newly created third tear of European club football.
As a seeded team in the second qualifying round Aberdeen will avoid the bigger clubs at that stage such as former European Cup and Uefa cup winners Feyenoord (Netherlands) Basel (Switzerland), Gent (Belgium), Astana (Kazakhstan), Hadjuk Split (Croatia) and AEK Athens (Greece).
The Dons will also avoid precarious rematches with two sides who have previously knocked them out of the Europa League – Apollon Limassol (Cyprus) and HNK Rijeka (Croatia).
The Dons crashed out of Europa League 3-2 on aggregate to Cypriot side Apollon Limassol at the third qualifying round in 2017.
Aberdeen have faced Croatian side HNK Rijeka twice in recent years, knocking them out in the Europa League second qualifying round 5-2 on aggregate in 2015.
However Rijeka gained revenge in 2019 when beating the Reds 4-0 on aggregate in the third qualifying round of the same tournament.
Potential opponents for Glass’ first game in Europe as Aberdeen manager include Elfsborg (Sweden), Lokomotiv Plovdiv (Bulgaria), Sutjeska Niksic (Montenegro), Dinamo Tirana (Albania) and Levadia Tallin (Estonia) amongst many others.
They could come up against Shakhtyor Karaganda of Kazakhstan which would require a gruelling round trip of more than 8,000 miles.
Aberdeen exited at the third qualifying round of the Europa League to Kairat Almaty of Kazakhstan 3-2 on aggregate in 2015.
Almaty is 4,745 miles away and the Dons required a 12-hour flight.
Another unseeded potential opponent is NSI Runavik (Faroe Islands), a team Aberdeen beat 6-0 last season.
Although the third tier of European club competition there are some big hitters including Tottenham Hotspur (England), Roma (Italy) and Rennes (France) entering at the play-off stage.
In preparation for the Uefa Conference League Glass has already secured four signings in Declan Gallagher, Scott Brown, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Gary Woods and aims to push through a deal to secure Houston Dynamo striker Christian Ramirez.
The 30-year-old United States international’s contract expires at the end of the year but the Reds would face obstacles such as securing a work permit and agreeing a deal with Major League Soccer (MLS) because all league contracts are centralised.
Glass has also offered a deal to defender Clark Robertson who is being tracked by Israeli side Hapoel Jerusalem and Portsmouth.
Right-back Jack Gurr, 25. is set to come on loan from MLS side Atlanta United.
The Dons boss also has St Mirren attacking midfielder Jamie McGrath on his radar but it would take a significant six figure sum for the Buddies to sell.
It is understood Aberdeen and St Mirren are far apart in their valuation of McGrath.
Glass’ new look side will report for pre-season training in late June by which time the opponent for the second qualifying round will be known.
Glass said: “There are good number of teams in it, some high-profile ones and Europe is always great to play in.
“It was always enjoyable as a player, so I am sure the players are looking forward to it and hoping to prolong it as long as possible.”