Date: 21st October 2007 at 11:03pm
Written by:

Aberdeen can defy the odds

By “beating” Dnipro Aberdeen have reached the lucrative group stages of the UEFA cup, eradicating any chance of our European adventure being cut short.

After all, it would have been hard to fall at the first hurdle having last season been hell-bent on finishing third and claiming the European slot as a prize. What an anti-climax that would have been.

s it is we can now look forward to a guaranteed four games including trips to Athens and Madrid as well as the visits of Lokomotiv Moscow and Copenhagen. These games will provide the players with vital European experience and the club with a much needed financial boost.

So how will the dons fair? Can we escape this tough group?

ell?..emm?.No. Not according to UEFA who placed us in pot 5 with a co-efficient ranking of 11.064 compared with say Lokomotiv Moscow at 38.92. The bookies have little faith in us either, placing us as joint outsiders at 250-1 alongside Swedish minnows Elfsborg. So on paper Aberdeen FC is punching above its weight and will fall at this stage.

But as we all know football is not played on paper its played on grass, like the turf at the Meteor Stadium where the Reds were going to be taken apart. So basically I would not read too much into the odds or statistics or co-efficient rankings. Anything can happen on European nights and I fancy the Dons to be tough opposition and maybe cause a little upset somewhere along the line.

Now I am not claiming Aberdeen will defy all the odds by waltzing through the group stages and then take scalp after scalp before crushing Bayern Munich 3-0 in the final with a Lee Miller hat-trick, that is not what I am predicting. What I am saying is don`t rule the Dons out yet, qualification from this group is possible.

Having said that our first match in Athens against Panathanikos will be very difficult with them having a co-efficient ranking five times ours, it is clear the name on UEFA`s betting slip.

To have any chance of taking points I feel we will have to line-up 4-1-4-1 and hit them at pace on the break. If I was Jimmy (which I am not, I am not that orange) I would start with:


art Diamond Considine Foster


icholson Severin Clark Smith


ut no matter who wears that famous red shirt they will have my full support and I wish them all the best.

anathinaikos V Aberdeen, Live BBC 2 KO 5pm