Neil Lennon has dispatched his righthand man Garry Parker to Iceland to begin building Hibs’ dossier on potential Europa League opponents Valur and Brondby as they meet in the first qualifing round.
Parker will be in the Icelandic capital Reykjavik for tonight’s first leg while Lennon himself will travel to Denmark for next week’s return match to complete his homework on which side Hibs will face in the second qualifying round in a fortnight.
The Hibs boss believes it will be Brondby who will make it through, a view backed by the fact the Danes, who were seeded in the draw, have a co-efficient of 7.22, more than four times that of the Icelandic minnows.
But he admitted Iceland’s heroics at the European Championships, through to the quarter-finals after humiliating England, will have given their football clubs a massive lift.
Lennon said: “Garry is going to Iceland and I’ll go to Denmark to watch Brondby at home. I think Brondby might prevail as they are a strong team with a history, but either side will be tough.”
Valur are already nine games into their season, lying seventh in the Urvalsdeild with 11 points, while Brondby’s league season doesn’t kick off until after they’ve potentially faced Hibs in the Capital, their first Superliga match against Esbjerg the following Sunday.
They will be further into their pre-season than Lennon’s players with the Championship season not kicking off until they travel to face Falkirk on August 6 although Hibs will have the benefit of three friendlies, against Berwick Rangers, Edinburgh City and Motherwell before going into Euro action.