Aberdeen were today warned against underestimating the threat of Faroe Islands side NSI Runavik if they go head-to-head in Europe.
The Dons will face either Runavik or Barry Town United from Wales in the Europa League first qualifying round at Pittodrie on Thursday August 27.
In a bid to prevent fixture congestion following football’s shutdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Uefa have made all qualifying rounds just one leg.
Faroe Islands international Odmar Faero, who starred for Granite City junior side Banks o’ Dee, believes the one-legged format could benefit underdogs Runavik.
Odmar, 30, also believes having eight players in self-isolation for two weeks in the build-up to the tie could hinder Aberdeen and help their opponents.
Eight Dons players recently broke lockdown restrictions by attending a city centre bar following the 1-0 loss to Rangers.
Two have tested positive and must quarantine for 10 days while the other six must self-isolate for 14 days.
Odmar, who now stars for Faroe Islands Premier League champions Klaksvikar Itrottarfelag, said: “If you are being realistic and neutral then obviously Aberdeen being at home is going to affect Runavik’s chances if they can get past Barry Town United.
“However, the fact the tie is over the single leg creates a bigger chance of an upset than if it was over the two legs.
“That is definitely to the advantage of Aberdeen’s opponents.
“Over one leg, no matter who you come up against, you must produce a good performance. We have seen it before with Aberdeen, Rangers and Celtic in Europe that at this early stage of the season they don’t always have their best period in terms of playing football.”
Aberdeen’s opponents will be decided when Runavik host Barry Town in the Faroe Islands in the preliminary round on August 20.
That is the same night Aberdeen face St Johnstone away in a rescheduled fixture after the initial game was cancelled due to the breach of lockdown protocol by eight Aberdeen players.
Those eight will have just the St Johnstone game and Livingston away before the European tie.
Odmar said:”That is going to have a big impact on fitness as they are not playing matches but instead just doing stuff like treadmill running while in isolation.”
Odmar, who also played for Highland side Keith, will play in the Champions League this month when facing Slovan Bratislava at home.
Capped 29 times for his country, he said: “Faroese teams have looked to progress at least past the first round in recent years and have been successful.
“In 2018, when I played for B36 Torshavn, we got through two rounds and met Besiktas.
“Last year the team I am playing for now got through two rounds and were only just knocked out by FC Luzern (2-0 on aggregate) from Switzerland, who are a very strong team.
“More and more recently there have been teams from the Faroe Islands who have managed to get through two rounds in Europe.
“Progressing in Europe is high on the priorities of teams in the Faroes because there is good money to be made which significantly affects budgets.”
Aberdeen have never played a team from the Faroe Islands in Europe, although they beat Barry Town United 6-4 on aggregate in the Uefa Cup in 1996.
Odmar said: “Runavik are happy to have home advantage against Barry Town United.
“Runavik will fancy their chances of going through.
“Runavik play with a five-man defence with decent wing-backs and they also have strong, physical centre-backs who are decent on the ball. They play very offensive football and hope to get their star player Petur Knudsen back from injury for the European ties.
“They also have the league’s all-time top goalscorer in Klaemint Olsen, who comfortably scores more than 20 goals every season.”