Defender Mark Reynolds aims to achieve tonight what Sevilla, Tottenham, Schalke and Sporting Lisbon couldn’t – keep a home clean sheet against NK Maribor.
Those Euro big-hitters all conceded at home to the Slovenians in recent seasons, with Sevilla held 2-2 in Spain in the knockout stages on the road to winning the Europa League in 2014.
Likewise, Celtic and Rangers were both sent tumbling from Europe by Maribor in the last five years with both Glasgow sides conceding at home.
For the importance of a home shutout Reynolds insists the Dons need look no further than the first qualifying round.
Having conceded to CS Fola Esch in a dominant 3-1 home win they suffered a nervous return in Luxembourg, losing 1-0. Reynolds said: “Keeping a clean sheet at home in Europe is absolutely massive.
“That puts a lot of onus on the defenders but a clean sheet is something we always look to go out and secure anyway.
“I don’t think people fully appreciate just how big the away goal is and how important registering a home clean sheet is.
“We saw in the first round against Fola Esch just how vital the away goals are.
“In any other game winning 3-1 is a great scoreline.
“However, in Europe letting in an away goal meant when we went over there having conceded the pressure was suddenly on.”
While there is an onus on the Dons to keep out Maribor, led by Brazilian striker Marcos Tavares, the Reds will also go on the attack to capitalise on home advantage.
Reynolds reckons they have the firepower to cause problems to the Slovenian league leaders.
He said: “Although we want to keep the door shut and secure a clean sheet, at the same time we need goals to go through.
“The game we play is suited to European football and we have shown that in previous seasons.
“We have real pace and players who like to play football.
“The introduction of Jayden Stockley has given us another dimension as we can mix it at the top of the park if needed.
“Maribor are a big team with a strong European pedigree who have done jobs on big teams.
“We have also done jobs on big Euro teams before and know we are more than capable.”