Thursday, 14 July 2016

Aberdeen F.C. vs FK Ventspils Europa League Match Preview And Prediction - July 15, 2016


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First meeting between the clubs, Ventspils have failed to score in 5 of their last 8 European away games. Aberdeen have lost just 3 of their 25 home games since the start of last season, winning 13.

Aberdeen forward Niall McGinn returns having been rested last week following Euro 2016. New arrival Miles Storey could make his debut.

The visitors will be able to call on close to their strongest side with Girts Karlsons leading their attack.

Aberdeen made harder work of their 1st Qualifying Round tie against Fola Esch of Luxembourg than they would have hoped. They needed two stoppage time goals to claim a 1st Leg advantage and were beaten in the return leg away from home but progressed 3-2 on aggregate. Their fitness levels should be a little bit higher now though and they were 4-2 winners in a friendly at the weekend against East Fife. They’ve performed better in this round than the 1st Qualifying Round in the last two seasons and they’ll be hoping that trend will continue here.

Aberdeen saw off Dutch side Groningen in 2014 and Rikeka of Croatia 12 months ago and this should in theory be an easier tie. Ventspils finished 3rd in the Latvian top flight last season and have only once made the group stage of a European competition when they reached the Europa League groups in 2009 but they failed to win a match. They come into this tie having seen off Víkingur of the Faroe Islands 4-0n aggregate in the last round but this clearly is going to be a much tougher game for them. They are in the middle of their season which could be a small advantage but they were beaten at home by Riga FS at the weekend and are again in 3rd place in the Virsliga and 7 points behind Spartaks Jūrmala.

We are likely to see a much stronger Aberdeen side in this tie than we saw in the last round. They will know the margin for error is less here but if they can play the sort of football they managed for most of last season, they should have a bit too much for Ventspils who aren’t likely to be too ambitious. Therefore consider backing Aberdeen to win 2-0 at 11/2.

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