Clarets to endure Pittodrie frustration

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Sean Dyche

Aberdeen can make life tough for Burnley in the first leg of their Europa League second qualifying round tie on Thursday as the Clarets embark on their first European campaign since 1966/67.

Sean Dyche’s side finished seventh in the Premier League last term and would have been hoping for a more exotic European adventure than a trip to the north-east of Scotland first up.

Aberdeen 5/1 – To draw 1-1 with Burnley

But they may have to settle for a draw at Pittodrie in their first European match since a Fairs Cup quarter-final defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt more than half a century ago.

Derek McInnes has put together a strong Dons squad that have been Celtic’s main challengers in the last few years and they secured a creditable draw with West Brom in a pre-season friendly recently.

Elsewhere, Sevilla, winners of the Europa League five times in the last 13 years, should have little difficulty defeating Hungarian team Ujpest, whose best days came in the 1970s.

Sevilla 9/4 – To win by four goals or more

However, if Pablo Machin’s team want to be involved in this season’s Europa League final in Baku next May they face a lengthy process as they will have to come through three rounds just to reach the group stage of the competition.

The La Liga side reached the quarter-finals of last season’s Champions League and should ease to a comfortable victory against Ujpest, who lost the first leg of their tie against Neftci Baku in the previous round before eventually winning 5-3 on aggregate.

Osijek 5/2 – To beat Rangers by one goal

Rangers laboured to an unimpressive 2-0 aggregate victory against Macedonian side Shkupi in the first qualifying round and Steven Gerrard’s team may struggle to get the better of Croatian outfit Osijek this week.

The Gers lack quality in all areas of the pitch and it seems much longer than a decade ago since they were beaten by Zenit St Petersburg in Manchester in the Europa League final.

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