Aberdeen head into their Europa League tie against RoPS with a 2-1 lead heading into the game in Finland. Not only does the goal that Aberdeen conceded late at Pittodrie affect the game, but there is another aspect that could decide the match.
The game is going to be played on an astroturf pitch. How the Dons adapt to the surface could play a big part in the outcome of the tie.
Could take time to get used to surface
The Dons have played on similar surfaces before. But it could take them time to get used to the bounce of the ball in Finland. Derek McInnes will need to hope that the Dons familiarise themselves with the surroundings quickly.
If the game was being decided on players’ abilities, you would imagine that the Dons would be firm favourites. However, the surface of the pitch adds another layer to the tie.
First goal is pivotal to tie
The first goal in the game will be all-important. If Aberdeen get it, they will feel confident about getting through to the next round despite the playing surface.
However, should RoPS score the opening goal than anything can happen. Derek McInnes will be confident that his team can make it through to the second round of the qualifiers.
However, the astroturf pitch will be a leveller for both sides, and could have a real impact on the game.