Pittodrie Stadium

Aberdeen vs Rijeka betting tips: Europa League qualifying match preview & predictions

Aberdeen vs Rijeka prediction: Aberdeen 1-1 Rijeka

After a disastrous first leg result in Croatia, Aberdeen are on the brink of elimination.

The first hour of the first leg at Stadion Rujevica was very uneventful with neither side creating many chances.

However, on the hour mark, Shay Logan hauled down Antonio-Mirko Čolak in the box.

What a stupid way to give away a penalty.

Čolak himself stepped up and slotted home past Joe Lewis.

1-0 Rijeka.

There was no further scoring until the very last minute of normal time.

Substitute Robert Murić cut in on his left foot and fired into the far corner.

A huge goal in the tie as Aberdeen now have a mountain to climb.

Can the Dons keep their European dream alive?

It’s going to take one of the best performances that Pittodrie has ever seen to do just that.

First leg highlights: Rijeka 2-0 Aberdeen

Aberdeen vs Rijeka: Who will win?

Aberdeen are 13/10 to win this one but even that might not be enough.

Rijeka are 9/5 to repeat last week’s victory.

A draw, which would send the Croatian’s through, is 11/5.

Under 2.5 goals is 5/6.

Aberdeen are 13/2 to qualify; Rijeka are 1/14 to progress.

Sam Cosgrove has scored eight goals in six games this season. He is 16/5 to score first and 6/5 to score anytime.

Antonio-Mirko Čolak opened the scoring in the first leg. He is 5/1 to do so once again and 2/1 to get an away goal for Rijeka.

Aberdeen vs Rijeka: Match preview

NEWPORT, WALES – SEPTEMBER 30: General view as heavy rain falls during the Guinness PRO14 match between Dragons and Southern Kings at Rodney Parade on September 30, 2017 in Newport, Wales. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Just over a week ago, Pittodrie was a very optimistic place.

In Europe, the Dons had edged out Rovaniemen Palloseura 4-2 on aggregate before destroying Chikhura Sachkhere 6-1 over two legs.

They then began their Premiership campaign with a 3-2 win over Heart of Midlothian; Ryan Hedges’ late winner sealing all three points in that one.

However, last mid-week’s abject performance in Croatia has dampened spirits to say the least.

Then, on Sunday, Aberdeen travelled to Paisley in the pouring rain to face St Mirren who are many people’s favourites to go down this season.

However, it was the Buddies who led after just 13 minutes at the Simple Digital Arena.

Derek McInnes’ side were denied a clear penalty in the second half but could not find an equaliser and were beaten 1-0.

A very bad week.

It’s going to take a miraculous comeback so can Aberdeen keep their European dream alive?

It seems very unlikely.

Europa League live streaming

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA – MARCH 15: The logo of the UEFA Europa League is seen prior to the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 match between FC Red Bull Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund at the Red Bull Arena on March 15, 2018 in Salzburg, Austria. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images,)

Will Rijeka book their place in the play-off round?

Rijeka meanwhile will be looking to secure safe passage through to the Europa League play-off round.

The Whites have actually reached the Europa League group stages three times, in 2013, 2014 and, most recently, in 2017.

12 months ago they suffered a shock defeat to Sarpsborg 08 FF in this round but look likely to avoid a similar fate this time.

Domestically, they are four games into their Prva HNL season.

At the weekend, they actually suffered a shock defeat, going down 2-0 at HNK Gorica.

Still, prior to that they had won all three matches, beating Varaždin, Lokomotiva and Slaven Belupo.

That leaves them third, one point behind the leaders.

But, for now, they can put domestic matters on hold.

Will Rijeka be preparing for a Europa League play-off round meeting with either K.A.A. Gent or AEK Larnaca after this match in the granite city?

Aberdeen team news vs Rijeka

Scotland flag

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – JANUARY 31: The Scottish flag is seen during the Scottish League Cup Semi-Final match between Dundee United and Aberdeen at Hampden Park on January 31, 2015 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The news is not good for Aberdeen on the injury front.

It is expected to be the same goalkeeper, back four and midfield as it was last week in Croatia.

New club captain Joe Lewis will be desperate to keep a clean sheet in this one.

Scott McKenna will once again start at centre-back despite the fact he handed in a transfer request just over a week ago.

In midfield, Funso Ojo and Lewis Ferguson will sit in front of the defence.

It’ll be the same attacking trio too, featuring new signing Jon Gallagher.

The one change from last mid-week will be up front and it’s a huge blow.

Sam Cosgrove missed the weekend trip to Paisley and isn’t expected to be fit for this one.

That’s a huge blow as he’s scored eight goals in six matches this season, meaning he’s netted 29 goals in his last 40 Aberdeen appearances.

Curtis Main will once again be the man to deputise.

Can this team overturn the deficit?

It seems unlikely.

Rijeka team news vs Aberdeen

NYON, SWITZERLAND – JULY 18: The UEFA logo is seen on the UEFA Champions League trophy as it is prepared for the UEFA 2014/15 Champions League third qualifying rounds draw at the UEFA headquarters, The House of European Football, on July 18, 2014 in Nyon, Switzerland. (Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images for UEFA)

As for HNK Rijeka, their manager Igor Bišćan made seven changes at the weekend in preparation for this trip to Scotland.

However, he is expected to, almost, revert to the same side that began the first leg.

Goalkeeper Andrej Prskalo is one of just four players who started last Thursday and at the weekend.

Centre-back and captain Roberto Punčec is another but the rest of the back four will change.

In midfield, Tibor Halilović and Luka Capan were both very assured in the first leg so will both start ahead of Domagoj Pavičić.

Further forward, Robert Murić scored the vital second goal off the bench last mid-week.

That goal should be enough to see him start ahead of Boadu Maxwell Acosty in this one.

Antonio-Mirko Čolak will once again lead the line.

Can he fire Rijeka in the Europa League play-off round?

Predicted Aberdeen line-up vs Rijeka

Predicted Aberdeen line-up vs Rijeka

Predicted Aberdeen line-up vs HNK Rijeka.

Predicted Rijeka line-up vs Aberdeen

Predicted Rijeka line-up vs Aberdeen

Predicted HNK Rijeka line-up vs Aberdeen.

First round highlights: Aberdeen 2-1 RoPS

First round highlights: RoPS 1-2 Aberdeen

Second round highlights: Chikhura Sachkhere 1-1 Aberdeen

Second round highlights: Aberdeen 5-0 Chikhura Sachkhere

Premiership highlights: St Mirren 1-0 Aberdeen

The latest tweets from Aberdeen pre Rijeka

The latest tweets from Rijeka pre Aberdeen

All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.

Scottish Premiership table:

#TeamMPWDLFADP
1Celtic97112872122
2Rangers97112762122
3Motherwell95131513216
4Aberdeen94321310315
5Kilmarnock942388014
6Ross County93331017-712
7Livingston93241313011
8Hamilton Academical9234816-89
9St Mirren922558-38
10Heart of Midlothian91441014-47
11Hibernian9144818-107
12St Johnstone9045722-154
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