RoPS Rovaniemi defender Mahamadou Sissoko today warned his League Cup glory with Kilmarnock proves the Finns can shock Aberdeen in Europe.
The Dons face RoPS in the Europa League first qualifying round first leg at Pittodrie on Thursday July 11.
Aberdeen are hot favourites to progress to set up a clash with CS Fola Esch of Luxembourg or FC Chikhura Sachkere of Georgia in the next round.
RoPS are third bottom of their domestic league after 13 games and crashed to a 1-0 loss away to FC Honka on Tuesday evening.
Sissoko knows all about over-turning the odds in Scotland having been part of the Kilmarnock team that dumped Celtic 1-0 in the League Cup final in 2012.
The 30-year-old and his RoPS team-mates will take inspiration from that.
He said: “Everyone will expect Aberdeen to beat us over the two legs but anything can happen.
“I believe we will have a chance to win.
“When we (Kilmarnock) beat Celtic nobody expected us to do that – most people thought it would be 10-0.
“I always remember when the referee blew the final whistle, looking up at the fans to see them celebrating.
“I just thought ‘wow, we just beat Celtic to take the cup home’.
“It was a fantastic feeling, the best I have had in my career.
“It also shows that in football even when a team is expected to win it doesn’t always happen.”
Former French under-20 international Sissoko played the whole 90 minutes of the loss at Honka.
The Finns will be 16 games into their domestic campaign by the time they face Aberdeen. For the Dons, the European tie will be their first competitive game in two months.
Sissoko believes that can be crucial.
He said: “We will be fitter than them and hopefully that is a factor because they won’t be as sharp as we are at this stage of the season.
“We won’t be able to completely rely on that but if it is an advantage we will have to make the most of it.
“The Finnish league is different from Scotland because here it’s more possession-based where in the SPFL it’s quicker and more aggressive.
“We have some good young players and this will be a big test for them.
“They have never played a game like this before, though, against an experienced team from a league like Scotland.
“So the first game may be a lesson for them but hopefully when we get to the second leg they will know what to expect.”
Sissoko spent three seasons at Kilmarnock from 2010 to 2013 and played alongside new Dons signing Craig Bryson, who recently completed a move to Aberdeen from Derby County on a two-year deal.
Sissoko said: “I saw Aberdeen signed Craig Bryson and that is a very good move for them.
“He was my captain at Kilmarnock before he moved to Derby County.
“Craig has had a very good career in England and the fans there really loved him.
“That isn’t a surprise because he is always running and gives his heart for the team.
“Supporters like that and as a team-mate you liked it too because you always knew he was battling for the team.”