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Esbjerg on song as Salzburg visit

Published: Monday 23 September 2013, 22.05CET
Esbjerg fB are on a four-game winning streak, and FC Salzburg hit four on matchday one, meaning there could be magic in the air when the sides meet in UEFA Europa League Group C.
Esbjerg on song as Salzburg visit
Mick Van Buren celebrates a matchday one goal for Esbjerg ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Monday 23 September 2013, 22.05CET

Esbjerg on song as Salzburg visit

Esbjerg fB are on a four-game winning streak, and FC Salzburg hit four on matchday one, meaning there could be magic in the air when the sides meet in UEFA Europa League Group C.

Something has to give as Esbjerg fB meet FC Salzburg in UEFA Europa League Group C with both sides going into their first continental encounter on significant winning streaks.

Previous meetings
• This is the sides' first meeting as well as Esbjerg's maiden encounter with Austrian opponents and Salzburg's first exposure to Danish competition.

• Austrian sides have the edge in terms of previous UEFA club competition games between Austrian and Danish teams – W8 D4 L7 (W2 D1 L6 in Denmark – W6 D3 L1 in Austria).

Match background
• Esbjerg beat AS Saint-Étienne home and away in the play-offs to make it to their first UEFA club competition group stage.

• Their 2-1 victory at R. Standard de Liège on matchday one means Esbjerg are now on a four-game winning streak in Europe, though they had lost their last three continental home fixtures prior to their 4-3 home victory against St-Étienne in the play-offs.

• Salzburg competed in the 2009/10, 2010/11 and 2011/12 UEFA Europa League group stages, making it through to the round of 32 – but no further – in 2009/10 and 2011/12.

• Salzburg have won their last three European games, scoring 11 goals in the process and conceding none.

Team facts
• Salzburg striker Jonatan Soriano's hat-trick in the 4-0 matchday one win against IF Elfsborg was the 22nd in the UEFA Europa League and, at 35 minutes, the fourth fastest in the competition. Steven Gerrard's 13-minute treble for Liverpool FC against SSC Napoli in November 2010 remains the quickest.

• Esbjerg midfielder Mohammed Fellah and Salzburg forward Håvard Nielsen were team-mates at Vålerenga Fotball in Norway from 2009-12.

Coach information
• Hired as Esbjerg coach in the summer of 2013 after Jess Thorup moved on to helm Denmark's Under-21 side, Niels Frederiksen took an unusual path into top-flight football. An economics graduate, he worked at a bank while coaching youth teams at B.93 København and Lyngby BK, eventually being hired as the club's senior coach in 2009. He led them to promotion in the first of his four seasons in charge.

• Salzburg coach Roger Schmidt took charge of the club in June 2012. A midfielder in the lower leagues in his native Germany, he combined football with work as an apprentice toolmaker before studying mechanical engineering. He moved into coaching with Delbrücker SC and SC Preussen Münster, before a fifth-place finish in the 2. Bundesliga with SC Paderborn 07 in 2011/12 helped persuade Salzburg to hire him.

Last updated: 24/09/13 13.40CET

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