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Høgmo hopes for dead-ball magic

Published: Tuesday 1 November 2005, 11.03CET
Rosenborg BK coach Per-Mathias Høgmo has warned Real Madrid CF that his side can steal a page from the Spanish team's manual of brilliant set-piece goals.
by Trevor Haylett
from Trondheim

Tournament statistics

RosenborgReal Madrid

Goals scored6
Attempts on target22
Attempts off target28
Fouls committed100
Yellow cards6
Red cards0

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Published: Tuesday 1 November 2005, 11.03CET

Høgmo hopes for dead-ball magic

Rosenborg BK coach Per-Mathias Høgmo has warned Real Madrid CF that his side can steal a page from the Spanish team's manual of brilliant set-piece goals.

Rosenborg BK coach Per-Mathias Høgmo has warned Real Madrid CF that his side can steal a page from the Spanish club's manual of brilliant set-piece goals when the teams renew opposition in the UEFA Champions League.

Surprise lead
Madrid was the meeting ground for the Group F rivals two weeks ago when the visitors dared to take a surprise lead - and were made to pay as the hosts drove in four second-half goals, three of them following corners or free-kicks. As the sides prepared to face off again at the Lerkendal stadium the memory was still playing hard with Høgmo, who acknowledged that set-pieces are becoming "more and more important at this level".

Beckham fit
He added: "This is something that could be an important weapon for us as well. We have players who are very good in one-on-one situations and maybe we can provoke free-kicks and other set-pieces which we can use to our advantage." However, with David Beckham having recovered from a hamstring strain to take his place in the Madrid lineup, Rosenborg have the difficult challenge of trying to outdo one of the greatest exponents of the art.

Helguera blow
Beckham's return is well-timed and not just because this season has shown him to be in sublime form. Coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo is without Ronaldo, Julio Baptista, Zinedine Zidane and, following a pulled muscle in training, Iván Helguera, while Pablo García is suspended. Míchel Salgado is available for selection, however, something which looked a remote possibility on Saturday when the defender was thought to have fractured a jaw bone in the victory over Real Betis Balompié.

Missed out
Rosenborg are better placed with only long-term injury victims Robbie Russell and Ørjan Berg missing. Høgmo and his team were relieved last weekend to finally draw a line under a Norwegian Tippeligaen campaign that will be remembered for all the wrong reasons as they lost hold of the league title they had turned into a one-club prize over the last 13 years. After fearing relegation at one stage, Rosenborg finished in seventh place, 12 points behind champions Vålerenga IF.

Transitional times
These are transitional times for the Trondheim club with young players coming through to stake their claim, none more impressive than Per Ciljan Skjelbred, the 18-year-old who scored in the Matchday 1 victory at Olympiacos CFP. "Not everyone at that age can handle the kind of success he has enjoyed, but Per has his feet firmly planted on the ground," said Høgmo.

New heroes
It was suggested to the midfielder that it was not too long ago that he had posters of Beckham and Zidane plastered around his bedroom. "Those posters are down now," Skjelbred said. "I've grown up. My Rosenborg team-mates are my heroes now, not just the star names from overseas." Still, Skjelbred may not get an opportunity to showcase his skills in the knockout stages should Rosenborg fail to win a home UEFA Champions League game for the seventh time in succession.

Happy consequence
Luxemburgo was keen to play up the happy consequence of the two previous occasions the sides have met in the group stages - as in both 1997/98 and 1999/00, Madrid went on to win the competition. "They are nice statistics," Luxemburgo said. "Let's hope it'll repeat itself." However, the Brazilian will be hoping there's not an exact replica of the matches eight years ago when Madrid won 4-1 before sinking to a 2-0 defeat in Norway.

Strand omen
Roar Strand, a scorer on that occasion and a fortnight ago, sat out the weekend action and is able to return and try to repeat the feat.

Last updated: 01/11/05 17.05CETøgmo+hopes+dead+ball+magic