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Rosenborg ready for Lyon test

Published: Wednesday 28 September 2005, 1.05CET
Rosenborg BK and Olympique Lyonnais meet in Trondheim on Wednesday evening with both seeking to build on impressive Matchday 1 victories.
by Eivind Aarre & Andrew Haslam

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Goals scored6
Attempts on target22
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Fouls committed100
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Published: Wednesday 28 September 2005, 1.05CET

Rosenborg ready for Lyon test

Rosenborg BK and Olympique Lyonnais meet in Trondheim on Wednesday evening with both seeking to build on impressive Matchday 1 victories.

Rosenborg BK and Olympique Lyonnais meet in Trondheim on Wednesday evening with both seeking to build on impressive Matchday 1 victories.

Opening victories
The Norwegian team put aside a disappointing domestic season to record their first success in 13 UEFA Champions League matches a fortnight ago, winning 3-1 at Greek double winners Olympiacos CFP. A scintillating first-half display, meanwhile, gave French champions Lyon a 3-0 triumph against Real Madrid CF, and both sides want to follow up those promising starts - although their coaches were keen to pay tribute to their opponents' quality.

'Exciting opponents'
"We know what to expect and are aware we're facing one of the best teams in Europe," said Rosenborg's Per-Mathias Høgmo. "They're clear leaders in Ligue 1 and also beat Madrid 3-0. They've bought big and have a really exciting team. We've seen Lyon's last six matches and know every player quite well. We're up for the challenge.

'Oozing goals'
"Lyon play a high-tempo game and that gives us some defensive challenges," continued the coach, who is without Robbie Russell and Miika Koppinen due to knee injuries while striker Thorstein Helstad is doubtful for the Group F encounter because of a toe problem. "We have to do the right things individually and collectively. I am certain we will create at least five chances - we have scored ten goals in our last three matches and the side is oozing goals."

Six-goal salvo
The Trondheim club ended a run of six straight Norwegian Tippeligaen defeats in style with a 6-0 demolition of Odd Grenland on Sunday, and although their chance of extending their sequence of league titles to 14 has gone, Høgmo remains optimistic. Rosenborg usually work on their formation the day before a match, but the coach decided against this on Tuesday, explaining: "There was no need. All the details are in place."

Carew threat
Lyon's attack will be spearheaded by ex-Rosenborg striker John Carew, and centre-half Vidar Riseth - Carew's Norway team-mate - believes the 1.90m-tall forward holds the key. "Stopping the service to Carew will be essential," he said. "He's strong as an ox, but needs the right balls to work with. We need to be aggressive all over the park, close the Lyon players down and get them out of their rhythm."

Demanding fixture
For his part, Lyon coach Gérard Houllier is not reading anything into the hosts' recent travails. "A Champions League match is, above all, a physical battle which demands a lot of effort, especially when you play a Scandinavian side," Houllier said. "It demands rigour, tactical and mental solidity, and a spirit of self-sacrifice. Only the media have favourites in Group F. I don't know if Olympiacos underestimated Rosenborg, but I can assure you we will not make that mistake."

Diarra doubt
Lyon are without Eric Abidal, who broke a foot in pre-season, while key midfielder Mahamadou Diarra faces a fitness test on a thigh problem. But Brazilian playmaker Juninho Pernambucano and forward Hatem Ben Arfa should return after being rested for Sunday's 1-0 win at FC Nantes Atlantique, and full-back Jérémy Berthod, who was suspended, is also likely to be back. Houllier is confident there is more to come from his team, saying: "Madrid and Rosenborg are completely different sides. Our Matchday 1 victory was digested very quickly. We have not reached our Everest by beating Madrid."

Last updated: 28/09/05 23.17CET

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