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|Attempts off target||62||37|
By Svend Frandsen
The newly-crowned Norwegian champions Rosenborg BK will be hoping to cause another upset in Milan when they meet Internazionale FC tonight at San Siro stadium in the UEFA Champions League.
Rosenborg have pleasant memories of the monumental arena to call on from the 1996/97 season when they surprised everyone with a 2-1 away win against AC Milan to book their spot in the quarter-finals of Europe's leading club tournament.
A milestone in club history
"I can't emphasise enough how important that win was," said Rosenborg coach Nils Arne Eggen. "It was a milestone in club history. Suddenly the players realised that anything is possible and since then we have recorded away wins against Besiktas [JK] and [BV] Borussia Dortmund."
At the bottom of Group D, with only three points from four matches so far, it would seem that Eggen's side will need all the luck they can get tonight against a potent Italian side who are leading Serie A. Indeed, since beating the Portuguese side Boavista FC at home on 27 October, 1999, the Norwegian team have won only three of their last 23 Champions League matches, drawing six and losing 14.
The visitors are expected to line up in a 4-1-3-2 formation with Azer Karadas and Frode Johnsen forming the strike partnership. They will be aiming to capitalise on their strength in the air much as they did in the first encounter this season between the two sides. "[Bent] Skammelsrud will play an important role in front of our rearguard as we simply can't allow the Inter strikers any room," Eggen said.
Eleven consecutive titles
Despite being underdogs Rosenborg will head into the tie with plenty of confidence after they celebrated their record eleventh consecutive Tippeligaen title by crushing SK Brann 4-0 at the weekend. "Of course, it's a huge boost to arrive in Milan having just secured another title," said midfield player Roar Strand. "Eleven titles in a row is something unique in Europe and of course it makes us believe that our side is capable of something that only few other sides can do - perhaps win in Milan again."
Full of respect
Inter were fortunate to come away with a 2-2 draw against Rosenborg on Matchday One of the competition and Inter coach Hector Cúper is full of respect for the opposition. "Yes, they're capable of creating considerable difficulties for their opponents. I saw Ajax v Rosenborg and their 4-3-3 changes radically. Eleven players in their own half and then sudden counterattacks with three or four very quick players."
Recoba may return
Inter have used a 3-5-2 formation in their previous encounters in the Champions League but Cúper could be persuaded to play with three up front if the Uruguayan international Alvaro Recoba manages to return to full fitness before the match. Francesco Coco could also return to action after injury as could Luigi Di Biagio who was suspended for the 2-0 win against Bologna on Sunday.
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