UEFA Europa League - 2020/21 SeasonMatch press kits
|Molde FK||Molde Stadion - MoldeThursday 29 October 2020|
21.00CET (21.00 local time) Group B - Matchday 2
|SK Rapid Wien|
Victorious on Matchday 1, Molde will hope to continue their fine recent European record in Norway as they host UEFA Europa League stalwarts Rapid Wien.
• While Molde came from behind to win 2-1 at Dundalk in their opening Group B encounter thanks to a deflected volley from Etzaz Hussain and an Ohi Omoijuanfo penalty, Rapid lost by the same score at home to Arsenal after they had taken the lead through Greek striker Taxiarchis Fountas.
• While Molde are facing an Austrian club in Europe for the first time, Rapid harbour recent unhappy memories of Norwegian opposition, Rosenborg having beaten them both in Vienna (2-1) and Trondheim (3-2) during the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League group stage.
• Rapid's only other tie with a Norwegian club was against the same opposition, in the 1968/69 European Champion Clubs' Cup first round, the Austrian club winning 6-4 on aggregate (3-1 a, 3-3 h).
• Champions of Norway in 2019, claiming their fourth title in nine years, Molde are back in the UEFA Europa League group stage having just missed out on a place in the UEFA Champions League. Following qualifying victories against KuPS (5-0 h), Celje (2-1 a) and Qarabağ (0-0 a, 6-5 on pens), Erling Moe's side lost out in the play-offs on away goals to Ferencváros (3-3 h, 0-0 a).
• Defeated in the UEFA Europa League play-offs in each of the past two seasons – by Zenit in 2018/19 and Partizan in 2019/20 – Molde are competing in the group stage for the third time. Bottom of their group in 2012/13, they defied the odds to top a section including Fenerbahçe, Ajax and Celtic in 2015/16 before losing to eventual winners Sevilla in the round of 32 (0-3 a, 1-0 h).
• Molde are unbeaten in 11 European home games (W8 D3), their last defeat coming against Fenerbahçe (0-2) in that 2015/16 UEFA Europa League group stage. They have kept seven clean sheets in those matches.
• A runners-up spot in the 2019/20 Austrian Bundesliga, 12 points behind champions Salzburg, earned Rapid a return to Europe after a year's absence and a place in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round. There they overcame Lokomotiva Zagreb 1-0 away before losing 2-1 at Gent – a result that transported Dietmar Kühbauer's team into the UEFA Europa League group stage.
• This is the Vienna club's eighth participation in the UEFA Europa League group stage. They have progressed through to the knockout phase just twice previously, in 2015/16 and on their most recent appearance in 2018/19, when they finished second on ten points behind Villarreal, eliminating both Rangers and Spartak Moskva. They were subsequently knocked out in the round of 32 by Internazionale (0-1 h, 0-4 a).
• Rapid have lost seven of their last nine away fixtures in the UEFA Europa League, qualifying included. Their only victory during that run came on Matchday 5 in 2018/19 at Spartak (2-1) – the Green and Whites' most recent group game outside Vienna.
Links and trivia
• Molde midfielder Hussain scored for Norway Under-21s against Austria in an August 2012 friendly (2-2).
• Rapid's loss at home to Arsenal was their 25th in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final. Their next defeat will match the competition record of Molde's domestic rivals Rosenborg.