Angelo Alessio’s men travel to Wales for a match against Connah’s Quay Nomads, whilst Aberdeen will play Finnish side RoPS Rovaniemi at Pittodrie.
Both SPFL teams are overwhelming favourites for their respective clashes. They can’t have that mindset going into the game.
Kilmarnock and Aberdeen must be wary not to lose focus
A good example that shows what can happen if you switch off against inferior opponents is Motherwell’s 2014/15 Europa League campaign.
The Well raced into a 2-0 lead at Fir Park against Icelandic side Stjarnan. They were pegged back to 2-2, before being bundled out 3-2 after extra time in the second leg.
Motherwell should have coasted this, but instead, they took their eye off the ball. If Aberdeen and Kilmarnock do this, they too will suffer embarrassment.
Just because they are favourites doesn’t mean their opponents should be laughed at. They are at the same stage as them after all and will provide competion for the two Scottish sides.
The Dons and Killie have to show them respect. Nomads have proven against Scottish teams in the Challenge Cup they can surprise sides on the counter. They’re not the prettiest to watch, but if Alessio’s men switch off, they’ll suffer.
CS Fola Esch of Luxembourg gave Aberdeen a fright during this stage of European qualifying back in the 2016/17 season. After edging them 3-1 at Pittodrie, the Dons suffered a 1-0 defeat away from home. It almost led to an embarrassing Euro exit and Derek McInnes will not want a repeat.
Aberdeen and Kilmarnock must remain vigilant during their European tussles. Failure to do so could see their respective ties end horribly.