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A Closer Look At Rosenborg – Dundalk’s Champions League Opponents

Dundalk kick-off their Champions League qualification campaign on Wednesday night when they welcome Norwegian champions Rosenborg to Oriel Park.

Stephen Kenny’s Lilywhites will hope they can emulate last season’s successful European adventure where they were one round away from a coveted place in the Champions League group stage after an impressive 3-0 win over a fancied Bate Borisov side.

However, Polish side Legia Warsaw were too strong for Dundalk over two legs but Dundalk did receive a Europa League group stage spot where they gave an excellent account of themselves including a famous 1-0 win over Maccabi Tel Aviv and they ran Russian giants Zenit St Petersburg very close twice, narrowly losing 2-1 on both occasions.

This season Dundalk are not expected to fare anywhere near as well as they did last season as they have struggled to keep up the pace with runaway leaders Cork City in the league. The losses of Andy Boyle, Daryl Horgan and Ronan Finn have weakened the outgoing Irish champions.

Wednesday night’s encounter will nevertheless be something to look forward to for Dundalk supporters but Rosenborg present a significant obstacle in their bid for progression.

Norway’s most successful club historically have European pedigree having participated in the Champions League group stages eleven times and are enjoying another purple patch domestically having completed the league and cup double last season.

Rosenborg are currently top of the league as they look to continue their domestic dominance but their main aim will be to reach the Champions League group stages and return to their glory days of taking on Europe’s big guns.

The standout name in the Rosenborg line up is big name Dane striker Nicklas Bendtner. Rosenborg manager Kare Ingebrigtsen will be banking on the former Arsenal man to hit top form.

Bendtner has typically blown hot and cold during his spell in Norway so far as he has done throughout his career but he can be a significant goal threat to Dundalk.

Other players to watch out are creative players Mike Jensen and Pal Andre Helland while forwards Matthias Vilhjalmsson and Milan Jevtovic have scored six goals each so far this season to add to Bendtner’s six goals.

Traditionally Rosenborg have played a 4-3-3 system with quick wingers and manager Kare Ingebrigtsen have recreated this playing style in the current crop of players. This is something Stephen Kenny noted in his pre match press conference.

Kenny also acknowledged the difficult task that awaits his team.

While the county Louth side will no doubt respect the difficult opposition they will face, they also come in to this game on a good run of form in the league and they will be optimistic about their chances.

Dundalk will hope their own star players in Patrick McEleleney, Robbie Benson and David McMillan can provide the spark to give the Lilywhites an advantage to take to Norway.

The game will be live on RTÉ Two at 7:45pm on Wednesday night.

Vincent O’Shea, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.