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Rosenborg BK midfielder Alexander Tettey has warned his side to expect a sterner test from FC Schalke 04 than they got at Stamford Bridge when they kicked off their UEFA Champions League Group B campaign with a 1-1 draw at Chelsea FC.
'Schalke even stronger'
The Ghana-born Tettey has established himself as a regular at Rosenborg this season, and has also worked his way into the Norway squad. Having played heroically against the likes of Michael Essien and Joe Cole in London a fortnight ago, the 21-year-old says Rosenborg will face an even bigger challenge this time round. "I rate Schalke a bit higher than Chelsea actually," he said. "They are very dangerous because they are so strong as a team. Chelsea have a lot of brilliant individuals but I feel Schalke perform better as a unit, so we're definitely up for a massive test."
The Bundesliga's second-placed club lost 1-0 at home to Valencia CF on Matchday 1 and Tettey believes they could play into Rosenborg's hands should they come to the Lerkandal Stadium looking to attack. "Having lost their first game, Schalke may feel they have to win against us," he said. "That could be an advantage for us. They have to push forward and that can create openings. If we stay calm and patient, I believe we can win."
The Norwegian title-holders have struggled in the Tippeligaen, suffering another reverse on Sunday when they were defeated 4-3 at home by Fredrikstad FK. With the pressure off in the UEFA Champions League, though, Tettey says Rosenborg are enjoying their underdogs' role. "At this stage Rosenborg will never be favourites," he said. "We feel no pressure whatsoever in Champions League matches. And now we're at home, we'll go out at Lerkendal and enjoy ourselves, trying to make it difficult for Schalke. Hopefully it will be enough on Wednesday."
The youngster's thoughts were shared by 37-year-old Roar Strand. Having played in all but two of Rosenborg's UEFA Champions League matches during an 18-year spell with the club, the midfielder knows all about braving Europe's biggest guns. "We have to play well on the day, and probably have a bit of luck as well to beat Schalke," Strand said. "But be in no doubt: we're capable of getting a good result. We have won these type of matches before."
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