Aberdeen need one of the best performances in their modern history to reach the Europa League play-off round, and the away record of their opponents Rijeka may give them confidence.
The Dons are currently trailing the Croatians 2-0 from the first leg. They’ll need to score at least three without reply to progress to the next round of qualifying.
Rijeka will be strong favourites to make the play-off round, but the history books show they don’t travel well in Europe.
Rijeka have won just 7 out of 39 away clashes prior to Aberdeen visit
Their first foray into Europe saw them travel to Wales to face Wrexham in UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup action during the 1978/79 term. Having won 3-0 at home, they were beaten 2-0 by the Welsh side away from home.
Rijeka’s wait for a European victory away from home lasted until 2000. It wasn’t easy though, just about getting by Maltese side Valletta 5-4 after extra time.
Before that, they had played nine away matches including the Wrexham clash, winning zero, drawing once and losing eight times.
Another lengthy spell without an away win followed. After winning in Malta, they would have to wait until the 2013/14 Europa League campaign to taste away victory again.
It came in a match against Welsh minnows Prestatyn Town, winning 3-0. They made the Europa League group stages in that season, managing to get draws away to the likes of Stuttgart and Lyon.
Three straight Europa League qualifying wins away from home during the 2014-15 season followed. That run was halted by Aberdeen, who knocked them out of the competition that year after a 3-0 win in Croatia and a 2-2 draw at Pittodrie.
Their last European away win came over Austria Wien in the 2017/18 Europa League group stages.
Rijeka are no mugs as Aberdeen know, but they aren’t great away from home. They’ve improved in recent years, but the history books show they’ve won 7 out of 39 away European clashes.
Rijeka’s preference is home comforts. Aberdeen need to exploit their poor away record by putting them under pressure early on. Failure to do so will see the tie slip away from them.