Viking FK striker Veton Berisha is in the form of his life and has warned he aims to continue his red-hot goal run and end Aberdeen’s European dream.
The former Norwegian international will lead the line for Viking tomorrow in the Europa League second qualifying round tie.
Berisha netted a double in the 5-3 away defeat of Kristiansund at the weekend to take his goal tally to eight in the last six games.
Berisha has already sent a Scottish team crashing out of Europe when starring for Rapid Vienna two years ago. The 26-year-old scored at Ibrox as Rapid Vienna progressed from Europa League Group G at the expense of Rangers.
Now he aims to do the double.
Berisha said: “I know I am a good striker but when you score a lot of goals in recent matches you have big confidence going into every game. That helps a lot for me.
“My other team mates are starting to do very well which is good for the team and also good for me as an offensive player. I feel great going into the Aberdeen game.
“Aberdeen will be close, 50-50 on who wins it on the night. However we all go into the European tie with confidence after our recent run where we also beat Molde 3-2 at home.
“That was a big result for us mentally because we hadn’t been that good as a team before that this season.”
Berisha netted for Rapid Vienna in a 3-1 loss to Rangers at Ibrox in October 2018.
However the Austrians gained revenge in the final match of Group G in dumping Rangers 1-0 to progress to the knock -out stages and end Rangers Euro bid.
He said: “When we played against Rangers in Scotland there were 50,000 supporters there. Although we lost 3-1 it was an amazing match to play in as the Scottish fans were electric. We progressed to face Inter Milan (5-0 aggregate loss).”
There will be no supporters at the SR-Bank Arena tomorrow as UEFA have deemed all qualifiers will be behind closed doors. Viking FK’s first European match since 2008, the 15,900 stadium would have been filled to capacity.
Berisha said: “I don’t think no supporters will make much difference as in Norway we are only allowed to play with 200 fans.
“In our matches only the Molde match was with our hard-core supporters. Before that it was 100 sponsors and 100 normal supporters so it wasn’t that big of an atmosphere.
“Now it is going to be zero against Aberdeen which is not so different from before.”
Tomorrow will be Viking FK’s first European match since a 2-1 aggregate loss to Honka of Finland in the UEFA Cup second qualifying round in 2008. Up for grabs is an away tie against Sporting Lisbon next Thursday.
Even if Viking FK progress Berisha revealed they would not face Sporting in Portugal.
He said: “After so long European football is very important to our supporters and club. Reaching the group stages would be amazing but that will be the same target for Aberdeen.
“Sporting have not started their season and that can be an advantage for us or Aberdeen. I think it will be difficult for us to go to Portugal if we win so it might be on a neutral field.
“For us it is a red country and we are not allowed to travel there. These are really strange times.
“However I don’t think either ourselves or Aberdeen will be thinking about who we can play in the next match.”
Berisha was linked with a potential move to Celtic in 2015 when Norwegian Ronny Deila was manager at Parkhead.
He said: “Deila was coach then so there was a link. I think there were some talks but I did not come close to signing there.”
Capped four times by Norway, the striker does not anticipate his recent scoring form to be the catalyst for a call up to Lars Lagerback’s international squad.
He said: “That is going to be very difficult as you have Joshua King (Bournemouth), Alexander Sorloth (Trabzonspor) and Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund) who is doing amazing.
“The Norway squad is not really on my mind to be honest as they have so many good strikers at the moment.”