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By Rise happy at home

Published: Wednesday 29 September 2004, 12.00CET
Rosenborg BK coach Ola By Rise is hoping his side will maintain their resolute reputation against Arsenal FC.

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Published: Wednesday 29 September 2004, 12.00CET

By Rise happy at home

Rosenborg BK coach Ola By Rise is hoping his side will maintain their resolute reputation against Arsenal FC.

By Stewart Clark in Trondheim

Rosenborg BK coach Ola By Rise is hoping that his side will maintain their resolute reputation when Arsenal FC arrive at the Lerkendal stadium.

Dismal record
"We know that they are good. But perhaps they don't know that no one gets a walkover at Lerkendal," By Rise said. The facts speak for themselves with three home draws in the 2002/03 first group stage, Rosenborg's last appearance in this competition.

Pressure needed
By Rise is well aware that his side have to play to their own strengths to succeed. "We play attacking, creative football and always look for the opportunity," he said. "We need to be on top just like we were against Panathinaikos [FC] in Athens a fortnight ago. No one gets anywhere with Arsenal if you do not put pressure on them."

Flesh and blood
His nimble midfield player Fredrik Winsnes, like goalkeeping team-mate Espen Johnsen, is a third-year medical student at university, and had an anatomical slant to his summary of Thierry Henry and co. "They are only eleven men of flesh and blood who are tired after the long trip to Europe's most northerly Champions League venue," he declared.

Berg worry
Rosenberg have a fitness concern over veteran midfielder Ørjan Berg. "If the match was today, I definitely could not play," he said on the eve of the game. If Berg does not make it then Jan Gunnar Solli is likely deputise. Whoever plays, the club will look to their team spirit to carry them through, as it very nearly did on Matchday 1 against Panathinaikos when only the brilliance of Ezequiel González separated the two sides in a 2-1 defeat. In domestic action, Rosenborg hold a four-point lead with four matches to play after a 3-1 win against Sogndal IL at the weekend.

Gilberto blow
Arsenal are also at the top in England although admittedly their title defence is still in its infancy. The London club are without Brazil midfield player Gilberto after he was ruled out for at least a month with a back injury but should welcome back French winger Robert Pires after a foot complaint. There could also be a European return for defender Sol Campbell, after he showed no lasting effects of his achilles injury at the weekend.

Praise given
Dennis Bergkamp has not made the trip because of his fear of flying but the Dutch forward will have been pleased to hear that his team-mates just missed the tail end of a tropical hurricane when they arrived in Trondheim. Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger said his men were well aware of what would face his team on the pitch in their first-ever meeting with Rosenborg. "They are an experienced team and know how to control games at this level" he said.  "On a good day, Rosenborg can give anyone a tough match."

Champions meet
Wenger, who was satisfied if not overwhelmed by his team's 1-0 home victory in the Group E opener against PSV Eindhoven a fortnight ago, added: "We are in a very interesting group with four national champions. Each have their own way of playing, Rosenborg are extremely well organised and quick to counter. We are looking forward to the match."

Ljungberg respect
Swedish midfield player Fredrik Ljungberg certainly knows plenty about the Trondheim club. "As a Scandinavian, I am proud of what Rosenborg has done for club soccer in the region. I have followed Rosenborg for many years. They are quick to attack, quick to get back in formation. They have also beaten some of the best clubs in Europe."

Last updated: 29/09/04 18.21CET