Dons boss Stephen Glass wants to make Aberdeen’s 150th European game one to remember.
The biggest European game at Pittodrie since Bayern Munich came to the city in 2008 in the last 32 of the UEFA Cup beckons for Aberdeen as they welcome Azerbaijani side Qarabag to the Granite City in Conference League.
The scenario is simple for the Dons – win by two goals and a place in the group stages of European football for only the second time in the club’s history will be secured.
Qarabag hold the advantage following their 1-0 win in Baku last week, but Glass is confident his players can deliver when it matters most.
He said: “We are playing against a very good Qarabag team. We won’t underestimate them by any means.
“We will give them the full respect, in the knowledge they will be better on our pitch than they were at home.
“We will be better as well and it will be a very good game. We believe we can win, 100 percent.
“We are aware of their dangers and their qualities, but if we do the right things and at the right time, we can make it a special night.”
Qarabag will relish Pittodrie pitch
Qarabag’s one-goal lead was earned on a dire playing surface in Baku last week and, while the Aberdeen manager is pleased to have the comforts of home – not to mention a superior pitch – for the second leg, he is under no illusions his side’s opponents will also enjoy the chance to play at Pittodrie.
When asked how different this game would be to the first leg, Glass said: “It might even look like a different sport.
“It will suit both teams. Their manager is very good and has his team playing very attractive football.
“They couldn’t do that on their pitch either. Sometimes you go away in Europe and hear they are doing this to the pitch because it suits them.
“I don’t think there is any part of that, but I do think it will benefit them, and it will benefit us, and you will see a much more attractive game of football.
“There is going to be a good crowd there as well, we are looking forward to it. We are not going in fearing anything.
“We are going in respecting them, but with the backing of the public, if we can get them on our side right from the start, you never know what can happen on the night.
“We are very, very hopeful we can do the club justice and also the people that are coming to watch us.”
‘We can be in Europe beyond Thursday’
UEFA’s decision to end the away goals rule means all hope is not lost if the Dons do concede on home soil and Glass believes his players can take comfort from the change in the ruling.
He said: “There are going to be winners and losers from no away goals. Potentially we could be the ones that benefit from it here.
“Let’s say we go and win 2-1 we would have been knocked out. We are trying to win the game and the rules are rules at the start – it could be beneficial to us.
“Going into the Hacken game we were hoping to still be in this position. We are in this position, it is do-able against a good team.
“We believe, if Qarabag play well, we still have an opportunity to win the game and that is important to us.
“We have shown we are a group of players that are capable of mixing it and have a bit of spirit about us.
“We saw that at Tynecastle on Sunday (against Hearts) as we know what it takes to stay in games.
“We have players that can score goals. We have the makings of the team to still be in Europe beyond Thursday night.”
Andy Considine (knee) and Ryan Hedges (hamstring) will miss the game, but Connor McLennan and Jonny Hedges, who were forced off at Tynecastle on Sunday, and Jack Mackenzie, who missed the game, could return.