Derek McInnes has challenged Aberdeen to grab the chance to face European giants Sporting Lisbon.
Aberdeen will tonight face Viking FK in a one legged Europa League second qualifying round tie in Norway.
Reward for the winner is an away clash at 18 time Portuguese league winners Sporting Lisbon next Thursday.
McInnes will use the potential of a glamour clash with Sporting as motivation to see off the threat of in-form Viking FK tonight.
Viking are five games undefeated and will face Aberdeen on an artificial pitch at the SR-Bank Arena.
Aberdeen have been boosted with confirmation S Ross McCrorie will be available to start in Stavanger.
McCrorie suffered a dead leg in the 1-0 defeat of Kilmarnock but is fit.
McInnes said: “I think we must use Sporting Lisbon as motivation. The players are well aware of it and it doesn’t do any harm to remind them that’s why we are playing – to take on that kind of big opponent.
“Players will do a lot in their career but to take on a team of Sporting Lisbon’s magnitude and in that environment — even if it’s not in front of a crowd — is something we all want to experience.
‘But first things first we will deal with this game against Viking. However there’s no doubt that mentioning Sporting Lisbon is an added motivation to get the club through.
“There’s no harm in that.”
A 22-strong Aberdeen squad flew out to Stavanger early yesterday morning and were tested for Covid-19 in the hotel. The tests were then flown to Oslo to be processed.
McInnes said: “We have been carrying about 22 of a squad at the minute that has been involved in the last few games.
“With only seven subs being allowed for European games I had thought about trimming that down rather than bringing boys over just to sit in the stand.
“However with the testing we decided to run with the 22. Hopefully no-one is positive and we can prepare as normal.
We have been given assurances that the test results will be back by lunch-time on match day which obviously allows us to name the team hopefully at the lunchtime meeting before the players go back to their beds in the afternoon. That would be ideal.
“Hopefully there are no real dramas with the test results but you are still anxious until you get that confirmed.”
Aberdeen will attempt to book a clash against Sporting on the back of a five-game winning streak where just one goal has been conceded.
Recent signing McCrorie has been pivotal in that run of wins and will be fit to face Viking having recovered from a knock.
McInnes said: “Ross is fine and has trained. We have one or two causing a wee bit of concern but we are hopeful all will be fit and ready for the game.”
McInnes received another boost with striker Ryan Edmondson returning to Pittodrie on Monday from parent club Leeds.
It was initially feared the teenager would be out until November having suffered an ankle injury in training in early August that forced his return to Leeds. Now he could be back in training with the Reds tomorrow.
He said: “We had to submit a list on Monday and put Ryan on the UEFA list just in case something happened to any of our players in training as he had been doing some grass work. Ryan is not with us in Norway but he is doing well.
“He is doing some work back in Aberdeen and he will train on Friday with the rest of the squad all going well.”
Viking FK’s attack will be led by in form striker Veton Berisha who has scored a double in the 5-3 defeat of Kristiansund at the weekend to take his goal tally to eight in the last six matches.
McInnes said: “They have players at the top end of the pitch we need to be mindful of.
“But it’s the type of opponent we can face domestically as well. We have a tough game on our hands but I genuinely feel if we play to our capabilities it is a tie we can win.”