Everything Celtic fans need to know about Europa League opponents Rosenborg

0
Have your say

Celtic take on Rosenborg in their first Europa League Group B game at Parkhead on Thursday night. If the fixture seems familiar it’s because the two clubs have already faced off four times in the last 14 months.

Here’s all the Hoops fans need to know about their familiar foes...

Callum McGregor vies with Anders Trondsen during the UEFA Champions League Qualifier between Celtic and Rosenborg at Celtic Park in July. Picture: Getty Images

Callum McGregor vies with Anders Trondsen during the UEFA Champions League Qualifier between Celtic and Rosenborg at Celtic Park in July. Picture: Getty Images

Who’s in charge?

You may remember the upheaval at the Lerkendal Stadion in July before Rosenborg faced Celtic in the Champions League qualifiers. Kare Ingebrigtsen was sacked six days before the teams met, with Rini Coolen taking interim charge.

Ingebrigtsen actually joined fans at a rally outside the stadium protesting his removal, while Coolen prepared the team to face Celtic.

Dutchman Coolen - a former defender with Go Ahead Eagles and Heracles Almelo in his homeland - saw his side lose 3-1 at Parkhead before a goalless draw at Lerkendal.

Mikael Lustig (right) in action for Rosenborg against Molde in a Norwegian league match in August 2011. Picture: Getty Images

Mikael Lustig (right) in action for Rosenborg against Molde in a Norwegian league match in August 2011. Picture: Getty Images

Despite that, he hasn’t lost a match since, and Rosenborg fans cheesed off at Ingebrigtsen’s departure have mellowed somewhat.

What sort of form are they in?

Pretty good. The Trondheim-based side are top of the Eliteserien, two points clear of rivals Brann after 22 matches.

The Norwegians are on an 11-match unbeaten streak in all competitions since their last trip to Glasgow in late July and they snatched a 3-2 win over the Ronny Deila-managed Valerenga on Sunday thanks to a stoppage-time goal by Issam Jebali.

Rosenborg play their home games at the Lerkendal Stadion in Trondheim. Picture: Getty Images

Rosenborg play their home games at the Lerkendal Stadion in Trondheim. Picture: Getty Images

However, despite seven consecutive victories, Rosenborg haven’t won in six trips to Scotland.

Who’s come out on top in previous meetings?

Celtic. Mostly. The Hoops won 1-0 on aggregate in the third qualifying round of the Champions League last season, before a 3-1 aggregate win in the second qualifying round of the same tournament this summer, only to lose to AEK Athens in the next round.

After losing to Celtic, Rosenborg saw off Cork City and Shkendija in the Europa League qualifying rounds to reach the group stages for the second year on the bounce.

Rosenborg fans show their support during a Norwegian league match at the Lerkendal Stadion. Picture: Getty Images

Rosenborg fans show their support during a Norwegian league match at the Lerkendal Stadion. Picture: Getty Images

Celtic have won five and drawn two of their eight matches against Rosenborg and are unbeaten at home in the fixture. Rosenborg’s solitary win - a 2-0 victory - came at home in October 2001.

Who are the players to watch?

Former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner is probably the most recognisable name in the Rosenborg ranks but the 30-year-old is said to be struggling with injury and will likely miss the match.

Danish international Mike Jensen captains the side and is a key member of the team, sitting in front of two holding midfielders and orchestrating the side’s attacks.

Norwegian international Alexander Soderlund, now in his second spell at the Lerkendal Stadion, will likely spearhead the attack in Bendtner’s absence.

Didn’t Mikael Lustig once play for Rosenborg?

Yes, and so did fellow right back Cristian Gamboa. Lustig scored 21 goals in 136 games for the Norwegian side between 2008 and 2012 and won two league titles prior to joining Celtic, while the Costa Rican defender spent seven seasons in Scandinavian football, making 52 appearances in three campaigns with Rosenborg.

Harald Brattbakk, who scored the goal that scuppered Rangers’ chances of securing 10-in-a-row played for both clubs, as did Vidar Riseth and current Hellas Verona midfielder Liam Henderson.

How could Rosenborg line up?

Coolen swears by a 4-3-3 formation which he tweaks depending on opponent, and he will be unlikely to spring any surprises at Celtic Park. One possible line-up is: Hansen; Hedenstad, Reginiussen, Hovland, Meling, Trondsen, Denic, Jensen (c), Helland, Jebali, Soderlund. Subs from: Ostbo, Reitan, Serbecic, Lundemo, Levi, Botheim, de Lanlay, Vilhjalmsson.