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Rosenborg anticipating tough Champions League tie with Dundalk

Stephen Kenny’s side have been handed a tough draw in the Champions League second round, but their opponents are similarly wary.

Image: Mikhail Kireev/INPHO

ROSENBORG ARE EXPECTING a tough battle when they face Dundalk in the Uefa Champions League second qualifying round in three weeks.

The Lilywhites were drawn against the Norwegian club in yesterday’s draw in Switzerland, with early indicators pointing towards a tough task ahead for Stephen Kenny’s side.

As an unseeded team Dundalk’s possible opponents before yesterday’s draw in Nyon included Celtic, Malmo, Legia Warsaw, Maribor, and FH Hafnarfjarðar.

They have experience of both FH and Warsaw from last year’s campaign, beating the Icelanders in the second round this time last year, while falling to the Polish champions in the Champions League play-offs.

Speaking after the draw Rosenborg sporting director Stig Inge Bjørnebye said his side was anticipating a tough set of games following Dundalk’s successful passage to the Europa League group stages last season.

“We will use the coming period to become familiar with Dundalk and what qualities they possess. In parallel, we must work with our own game and get better,” he told the club’s website.

“We meet a team that has gained experience in Europe over the past year. And until we have checked them out more thoroughly, we can surely expect a physically tough team.

“They’re going to come with great effort and enthusiasm and we must match them.”

Stephen Kenny Stephen Kenny's Bohemians were beaten 5-0 on aggregate by Rosenborg in 2003. Source: INPHO

Rosenborg are currently second in the Norwegian Premier League having won seven of their opening thirteen games this season.

They won the league in both 2016 and 2015, winning 17 of the last 20 titles since 1990, featuring thirteen in-a-row from 1990 t0 2004.

Rosenborg have faced Irish opposition on three occasions, beating both Bohemians and Shelbourne in the Champions League.

Dundalk boss Kenny was in charge at Dalymount Park in 2003 when Rosenborg secured a 5-0 aggregate second round victory, which included a 4-0 win in Norway.

Most recently the club defeated Sligo Rovers 4-3 on aggregate in the Europa League second round in 2014 despite the Bit O’Red managing a 2-1 win away in Norway.

Tore Reginiussen, Morten Gamst Pedersen and Mikael Dorsin celebrates at the final whistle Rosenborg celebrate beating Sligo Rovers in 2014. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The return leg was current manager Kåre Ingebrigtsen’s first in charge of the club three years ago: a 3-1 victory against Sligo.

Dundalk welcome Rosenborg to Ireland on 11/12 July and travel to Lerkendal Stadion a week later on 18/19 July.

Were they defeated over two legs it would spell the end of the Lilywhites European campaign this year.

However were they to beat Rosenborg they would be guaranteed at least two more rounds in Europe this year.

Dundalk went through two rounds of Champions League qualification last year, beating FH and BATE Borisov before being beaten 3-1 on aggregate by Legia Warsaw in the play-off.

Kenny’s side finished third in Group C in the Europa League, drawing with AZ Alkmaar while also securing a first ever win for an Irish club in the competition when they beat Maccabi Tel Aviv 1-0 in Tallaght Stadium.

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About the author:

Aaron Gallagher

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