With a clash against Sporting Lisbon at stake, Derek McInnes will call on the Dons to recreate previous Euro away day heroics against Viking FK.
After landing the “toughest tie” in the second qualifying round draw, McInnes aims to replicate in Norway the level that previously saw off HNK Rijeka and Groningen.
Reward for putting Viking to the sword is a third qualifying round clash away to 18-time Portuguese champions Sporting Lisbon on August 24.
The Dons landed the unwanted scenario of potential back-to-back away day clashes inside a week in the second and third qualifying rounds.
Would getting past both Viking and Sporting be Aberdeen’s best-ever European run under Derek McInnes? Our Northern Goal podcast panel think so:
All priority for now is on Viking FK, winners of the Norwegian Cup last season, and 16 games deep into their top flight league campaign.
With the logistics of travelling overseas during the coronavirus pandemic and Viking FK’s superior domestic game time, McInnes accepts it is a precarious tie.
However, he wants his team to take confidence from memorable Euro away wins in the bid to reach the lucrative group stages.
In 2014, the Dons defeated Groningen 2-1 in Holland and the following year shocked HNK Rijeka 3-0 in Croatia to end their 18-month home unbeaten run.
He said: “It’s probably the toughest tie we could have got because the Norwegian league is the strongest of what we could have faced.
“We have been a strong away team over the years, so we are fine with that.
“It’s wishful thinking we will always get a home tie, so you have to deal with it.
“We are aware of Viking winning the cup last season and how they have been in the last few matches.
“They are ahead of us in game time, they have played sixteen games at the moment.
“We are looking forward to the tie.”
Although the flight to Stavanger is short, the Dons will face a sweat on Covid-19 tests for players and staff on arrival in Norway.
The target is for Norwegian authorities to return those test results within 24 hours, although there are no concrete guarantees.
That could impact on training at the SR-Bank Arena, so McInnes is contemplating training at Pittodrie before departing.
McInnes and the Dons have trained at Pittodrie prior to jetting out for a number of European ties so it would not constitute an upheaval.
He said: “We need to be in Norway 48 hours before the game and are not allowed to train until we get test results back over there.
“So that means we will have to go out on the Tuesday, get the tests done and then hopefully have them back within 24 hours.
“They don’t guarantee that ,but that will be the aim.
“As a staff we will have to look into the logistics of it, whether we train at Pittodrie on the Tuesday morning and then head out.
“It’s a quick flight, so that’s in our favour, but we will have to make sure the timings are fine to get tested and the results back.
“The quicker we get tested the quicker we have the results, and that will allow us to train.”
Beaten Uefa Cup finalists in 2005, facing Sporting Lisbon is an enticing reward for both clubs.
It will not be a case of entering the unknown for Aberdeen nor Viking FK.
There has been recent history between the two sides with three friendly matches in the last eight years for the Energy Cities Cup.
Both Stavanger and Aberdeen are major hubs of the oil and gas industry and the friendlies were to mark that.
Former manager Craig Brown took the Dons to Viking FK in 2012, winning 2-0 in front of an almost empty ground.
The following season the Dons won 3-2 at Pittodrie in a match to tie in with the Offshore Europe oil and gas conference.
In 2015 Aberdeen won 2-1, again at Pittodrie.
McInnes said: “The clubs have had a link in the past with a few friendly matches tied into the oil industry. George Yule (former Aberdeen vice-chairman) was involved in organising it to forge links with various companies.
“We played one international break and what I remember most is playing Kenny McLean at left-back because we didn’t have anyone else.
“They were a capable side then and I would imagine that will be the same this time around too.”
Viking FK began their domestic season on June 6, almost two months ahead of Aberdeen.
A slow start to the campaign yielded just two wins from the opening 10 top-flight matches.
However, in a recent resurgence in form FK Viking are unbeaten in their last four games and defeated second-placed Molde 3-2 at the weekend.
The work on studying the Norwegians began immediately following Monday’s draw.
McInnes will also look to gain insights from right-back Ronald Hernandez.
Venezuelan international Hernandez played for Stabaek in Norway’s top flight for two-and-a-half years before joining the Dons in an £850,000 move in January.
McInnes said: “We will do our homework on them in the next few weeks.”