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Dyche's Eyes On The Dons

Burnley boss ready to head 'up the road' in Europe

20 June 2018

Sean Dyche believes drawing Aberdeen in the Europa League will bring the Clarets’ early-season plans into sharper focus.

The Clarets will end their 51-year exile from Europe when they play the Scottish Premiership side in the second qualifying round of the competition.

The first leg will be at Pittodrie on Thursday, 26 July with the return at Turf Moor a week later with Dyche’s side heading to the north of Scotland for their first competitive game of the campaign.

The Burnley boss said: “Everyone knows it could have been anything, looking at the draw with the amount of different teams from different countries involved.

“And lo and behold we get someone just up the road.

“But we’ve worked hard to get here and we’ll look forward to the challenge it brings.

“We know we won’t be travelling far, so it won’t be too unfamiliar.

“And it brings focus to the end part of the pre-season now that we know who we’ve got and we can prepare for what should be a competitive cup tie alongside our planning for the Premier League.”

Aberdeen last season finished second in the Scottish top-flight under Derek McInnes and the former St Johnstone and Bristol City boss is relishing the prospect of taking on Burnley in a first meeting between the clubs.

“It’s a fantastic draw,” McInnes (below) told Aberdeen’s website.

“We’ll be playing against a team that has done exceptionally well in what is regarded as the best league in the world.

“It should be a fabulous contest. There are favourites in every tie and they’re seeded for a good reason.

“We know we’ll be big underdogs for this one but, rest assured, we’ll be doing all we possibly can to cause an upset.

“There will be a terrific atmosphere at Pittodrie and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a sellout.”

Like the Clarets, Aberdeen will also start their 2018/19 campaign with the European tie.

However, they kick-off their domestic season a week earlier than Burnley, with an opening Premiership fixture at home to Steven Gerrard’s Rangers on Sunday, 5 August.

Aberdeen, four-time domestic champions, boast an impressive European pedigree, having beaten Real Madrid in the final to win the European Cup Winners’ Cup under Sir Alex Ferguson in 1983 and then beating European champions Hamburg to lift the Super Cup.

In 1986 they reached the quarter-finals of the European Cup and in 2007/08 made it out of the group stage of the Uefa Cup.

They have played in the Europa League for the past four seasons but not made it beyond the third qualifying stage.

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