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Saturday 16 December 2017

Aberdeen's Irish group in Spanish inquisition

Willo Flood. Picture: Russell Cheyne/REUTERS
Willo Flood. Picture: Russell Cheyne/REUTERS

ABERDEEN'S sizeable Irish contingent will face the might of Spanish Primera Liga side Real Sociedad in tonight's Europa League third qualifying round first leg tie.

Having already overcome Latvian side FC Daugava Riga and Dutch outfit Groningen, the Dons' five Irish players - consisting of Willo Flood (right), Adam Rooney, Jonathan Hayes, Joe Shaughnessy and Danny Rogers - will hope to keep the tie alive for the return leg at Pittodrie next Thursday.

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has no fresh injury worries for his side's visit to Sociedad with long-term absentee Clark Robertson is the only Dons player not available.

A place in the play-off round is the prize for the eventual winner of the tie.

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes: "It's par for the course in any cup competition, the further you go you're always going to come up against good opposition.

"In the last round we were confident we could get a result, without being over-confident, and we're always confident we can get a result regardless of the opposition, but it would be a huge surprise to everyone if we got through this tie.

"Any team that qualifies for European competition from La Liga deserves all the respect, they've certainly got good players and we'll have to play well.

"But we have that game advantage, in terms of playing competitive matches, over them and hopefully that proves pivotal and helps us get the outcome we want. Any time you get a result like that (Groningen) it can only serve you well going forward."

REAL SOCIEDAD v ABERDEEN, 
LIVE SETANTA SPORTS 1 (KO 7.45)

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