Aberdeen v Fola Esch: Niall McGinn to return for Europa League test

Niall McGinn celebrates scoring for Northern Ireland against Ukraine
Niall McGinn scored for Northern Ireland against Ukraine
Europa League, first qualifying round, first leg: Aberdeen v Fola Esch
Date: Thursday 30 June Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen Kick-off: 19:45 BSTCoverage: BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Sport website

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has confirmed that Niall McGinn will play a part in Thursday's Europa League qualifying tie against Fola Esch.

The part-timers from Luxembourg visit Pittodrie in the first-leg and McInnes still has "one or two wee concerns" with his forwards.

"If we didn't feel the need to involve [McGinn], we'd tell him to stay away and get some sun," the manager said.

"But he's our player and we've got an important game."

Striker Adam Rooney has taken part in every pre-season training session and played all three friendly matches as he continues his recovery from a thigh injury suffered in February.

Miles Storey signed from Swindon Town as a free agent having spent last season on loan at Inverness Caledonian Thistle, but he will not join the club officially until Friday and will not feature in the first round.

McGinn flew back to Aberdeen from France on Tuesday following Northern Ireland's exit from the Euro 2016 finals and took part in a training session in the afternoon.

"We're delighted to get him back," McInnes said.

"We wanted Niall to get the best experience possible from the Euros and the fact that he's managed to contribute, score and be part of a successful campaign is brilliant for him, but delighted at the same time to get him back.

"We've got one or two wee concerns in the forward areas and we don't have Miles Storey. We need Niall back.

"We're still working our way through with Adam Rooney, but he's been a long time out and that's always a concern.

"Johnny Hayes missed the game, as did Kenny McLean, on Sunday. They trained today and hopefully no reaction so they're in the squad for Thursday."

Aberdeen's Jonny Hayes receives treatment
Jonny Hayes was receiving treatment as Aberdeen trained on Tuesday

Fola Esch only have four professionals in their 24-man squad, which also contains four players from the youth squad who are 17.

Their leading scorer is Luxembourg international Stefano Bensi, who scored 21 goals in 31 games last season.

Many of their players work outside football, though, with one of the goalkeepers completing his shift as a postman before catching the flight to Scotland.

McInnes is aware of their strengths and weaknesses, having had them scouted as extensively as possible, and insists his players will be ready for their first competitive game of the season.

"We've got a tough opponent and we've got to make sure that we're thoroughly professional," he said.

"Their outstanding result against Zagreb last year in the Champions League qualifiers, drawing 1-1, going down to 10 men, shows you what they're capable of.

"They've got a very set way of playing, they've got good consistency of selection, they've brought one or two players in, but there's a familiarity about their personnel.

"They're good technically, they've got a good shape, they know what they're doing, they've got goals in them and a presence up top, a bit of pace in behind, and good experience and physicality."

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