Aberdeen FC will begin their European journey in the UEFA Europa Conference League group stage this week, and they face a formidable challenge right from the start.
The Dons will take on Bundesliga giants Eintracht Frankfurt at the Deutsche Bank Park on Thursday (September 21).
Barry Robson's side have managed just one victory in their eight matches across all competitions this season. Their recent 2-0 defeat to Hearts at Tynecastle marked their third Premiership loss in five matches.
Aberdeen narrowly edges above bottom-ranked St Johnstone in the league standings due to their superior goal difference.
Aberdeen's mission in the UEFA Europa Conference League promises to be an exciting and challenging journey, with their opening match against Eintracht Frankfurt serving as a significant litmus test for the team's European aspirations.
Commentator of the Bundesliga and FIFA video game franchise Derek Rae said: “It will be a terrific experience for every Aberdeen fan who's inside the stadium. The walk to the stadium is something special. I always enjoy it through the City Forest and once you get inside, you just feel it and it's non-stop. It's electric, and that can intimidate, or it can inspire. Let's hope it's the latter from an Aberdeen point of view.
“You might look at the scores from the early part of the season and think, Eintracht, not in great form, but remember, they're playing in the Bundesliga, which is a very high level. Every game is difficult, has its own challenges, and they are going through this transitional period. But I think it's worth bearing in mind that they still have a few players left over from the team that won the Europa League, and this is still a formidable task for Aberdeen."
As they prepare for their journey to central Germany, Aberdeen will be joined by the support of over 2,500 travelling fans.
Rae continued: “If Eintracht have problems at all, it sometimes against deep sitting opponents. And that's really why they signed Mario Götze to help them in that regard. But they still can come unstuck against a team that is really compact, can sit in and have a defensive plan to nullify them, and then frustration can sometimes creep in.
“I think it's fair to say they've lost a number of top players, most notably Randal Kolo Muani and Jesper Lindstrøm, and there are doubts about some of the replacements in terms of being as good as those who they have come in for. But it's still early days and there's still quality in their ranks. And make no mistake, Eintracht will believe that they can go very far in this conference league. They'll want to make a statement in front of their own fans on Match Day one.”
In addition to Aberdeen and Eintracht Frankfurt, Group G comprises PAOK from Greece and Finland's HJK Helsinki.
The group stage format entails each team facing one another both at home and away. The top two teams in the group will advance to the knockout stages of the competition.