Europa League: Aberdeen drawn against KF Shkëndija

Aberdeen shall begin the new season with a trip to Macedonia on July 2. Picture: John Devlin

Aberdeen shall begin the new season with a trip to Macedonia on July 2. Picture: John Devlin

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ABERDEEN have been drawn against Macedonian club KF Shkëndija in the first qualifying round of the Europa League.

Derek McInnes’s side will travel to Tetovo for the first leg encounter on July 2, beginning the new season only 39 days after completing their 2014/15 campaign with a 1-0 defeat at home to St Johnstone - who themselves have drawn Armenian club Alashkert FC.

Shkëndija finished third in the Macedonian top flight last season and won the title as recently as 2011.

Aberdeen will hope to emulate the relative success of last season’s Europa League campaign when they easily defeated Daugava Rīga over two legs before upsetting Dutch side FC Groningen with a 2-1 away victory. They then exited the competition after a spirited yet fruitless showing against Real Sociedad.

Travelling fans will find great value for money once they arrive with the price of a pint of beer around 80p and a three-course meal at £10. However, Shkëndija’s pro-Albanian support do have a somewhat violent reputation.

Flights are available from Aberdeen travelling to the Macedonian capital Skopje, which is less than an hour’s drive from Tetovo. All very convenient if punters are willing to pay around £500 for the return trip and make two stopovers in Paris and Vienna.

If Aberdeen are successful in knocking out the Macedonian side, they face a trip to Croatia to face HNK Rijeka.

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