Time is short and the stakes are high for Aberdeen and manager Stephen Glass in the first European campaign of his managerial career.
The Dons boss has taken his side to the third qualifying round of the Conference League but this stage of the Europa League has proved an insurmountable obstacle for the Dons in recent attempts.
But a new manager, a new competition and a new team have combined to give fans renewed hope this could be the year the Dons secure European football until Christmas.
The rounds fly by week after week and Glass knows the task of ensuring the players are familiarised with the opposition is a crucial one.
Glass said: “It is a challenge. The staff that we have is very good at it. Henry came in from Atlanta and he’s been brilliant. We’ve quickly got a really good handle on it.
“I’ve said before that we had watched their previous European game against Austria Vienna, but it’s difficult to analyse the game when you don’t know which one you’re going to play.
“Once that second leg happens, you can start digging deeper into the one team. That’s been the focus for the last couple of days. We had Dundee United to focus on before we turned our attention to this one.”
Glass said: “We’ve watched their last few games so we kind of know roughly what they are.
“They’re a good team, they’re not the biggest team, but they’re pretty quick around the park. They press at a decent level and they’re not the most direct.
“I know, traditionally, that they’re one of the more technical football teams in the country and I think that’s a trait throughout the club.
“I don’t see them changing that because they’re playing us.”
Breidablik have been forced to give up home advantage for the game as their stadium does not meet the requirements of the third qualifying round.
A change of venue has also meant a change of surface with the Dons now able to look forward to playing on a grass pitch tonight. AEL Limassol or Qarabag will be the prize for the winners of the tie but Glass is reluctant to look beyond Breidablik.
He said: “Technically it’s not a change of venue because I think UEFA had it listed as the national stadium for this round.
“I think they tried to alter the venue to their home pitch. I don’t know why they wouldn’t have done that in the first place.
“We planned for the national stadium but we would prefer to play on grass.
“I’m sure like the Icelandic team we’ll look at the result of the first leg when we’re done in the first leg and if one team is favourite.
“If it’s big result one way you might start looking but you can’t get ahead of yourself because we know the Icelandic team will be doing exactly the same.
“That’s not to say we’re not cautious about what this game represents.”
Ojo and Hedges could feature in Reykjavik
Injury doubts Funso Ojo and Ryan Hedges have both travelled to Iceland and are in contention for the game while the Dons boss has no qualms about pitching younger members of the squad, Calvin Ramsay and Jack Mackenzie, into proceedings for what will be a crucial game.
He said: “Both Ojo and Hedges are with us and both did a little bit yesterday, not with the group, but the group hasn’t done a great bit anyway to be honest.
“We’ll see where they are and we’re hopeful that it’ll give us more players to choose from.”
On whether he needs to manage the game time for the younger players Glass added: “They’re flying at the moment but we do need to manage that.
“It’s picking and choosing when you manage it. I’d say, first leg of a European game away from home is probably when you pick what you believe is your strongest group, or close to, to win the game or make it very difficult for the opponents.
“I don’t think we’re at the stage of needing to protect players yet. We trained a lot pre-season and didn’t play a lot of games.
“I think in pre-season you play this sort of heavy workload of games, they just happen to be competitive at the minute. It’s not something that’s a concern at the moment with the physical capabilities the players have.”
Glass believes attack is best form of defence in Iceland
Aberdeen’s one defeat so far came a week ago in the second leg of the second qualifying round where BK Hacken won 2-0 on the night but the result was meaningless due to Aberdeen’s 5-1 advantage from the first leg.
Glass is not reading too much into the result in Sweden.
He said: “It was a semi-false atmosphere and game with us being four goals up.
“It was a difficult situation almost, because in essence they had a free hit at it. I’m not sure there are a huge amount of lessons in there. I feel we backed up a little bit because we never scored a goal.
“We had a few chances to score a goal which would have put the game to bed. But I think we’re at our best when we’re going forward as a group.
“We’re stronger defensively when we’re going forward. We’re capable of sitting and blocking teams but I do think we’re better playing that bit higher up the pitch and I think that’s been evident so far.”