Champions League Preview: Rosenborg -v- Linfield

Wed, Jul 17 2019
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None Credit: Hugh de Paor (ETPhotos)

ROSENBORG

Rosenborg have one foot in the next round already as they welcome Linfield to Lerkendal Stadion on Wednesday night (kick-off 6pm Irish time).

The Norwegian champions took a decisive advantage back to Trondheim following a 2-0 win at Windsor Park seven days ago.

Goals in either half from Danish international Mike Jensen and Alexander Soderlund saw Eirik Horneland’s side to a comfortable victory.

The key for the home side, says their coach, is not to lose their discipline and think they’ve already made it ahead of a tough second leg.

“Clearly it is possible to mess up going through [to the next round],” said Horneland.

“We’re not going to let in goals and have a mental failure. We want to continue building on what we have done lately.

“We will attack with a lot of players and show that we are an offensive and good football team.

“We will take the fight to the fullest and pick the strongest team we have. We have put ourselves in a very good position, but there are still 90 minutes of football to be played.

“We must not believe that it is over and go out on the pitch to win the fight.”

Horneland has a full squad to choose from with no fresh injuries and no suspensions.

LINFIELD

Linfield arrive in Trondheim in hope rather than expectation following their 2-0 defeat in the home leg at Windsor Park.

David Healy’s side have a shot to nothing away from home knowing they have at least another round of European football regardless of the outcome.

Their tie is made all the more tricky by the fact Linfield remain in pre-season, beating Portstewart in a friendly at the weekend, while Rosenborg are halfway through theirs.

“Having lost the tie in Belfast last week with a performance that was OK, hopefully we can get an improved performance [Wednesday] night,” Healy told the club’s media team.

“All I can ask of the player is to go out and be professional, solid, organised and give it their best shot.

“It’ll be a tough test, we certainly know that, but it’s a game I’m excited for and the players are looking forward to, so hopefully we can go out and put on a big performance.”

Should Linfield fail to overcome Rosenborg, they’ll face HB Torshavn of the Faroe Islands in the Europa League, while victory will see up a tie with BATE Borisov or Piast Gilwice.

Linfield have provided no team news but are expected to have a fully-fit squad, with captain Jamie Mulgrew set to make his 550th Blues appearance.

Referee: Enea Jorgji (Georgia).

MATCH STATS

This is the third time Rosenborg and Linfield have been paired together in European competition and will be the sixth match in total between the sides.

They last faced one another in the first qualifying round for the 2010-11 Champions League, when Rosenborg won the second leg 2-0 following a scoreless draw in Belfast.

Rosenborg would go onto the play-off round that season, losing on away goals to Kobenhavn, before bowing out in the Europa League groups.

They previously met in the first round of the European Cup in 1986-87, when the Norwegian side won 1-0 at home before drawing 1-1 at Windsor Park.

BETTING

Rosenborg 1/12; Draw 15/2; Linfield 14/1.

PREDICTION

Rosenborg 3 – 0 Linfield

Rosenborg

Injured: None.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: None.

Linfield

Injured: Unavailable.

Doubtful: Unavailable.

Suspended: None.

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