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Experience key for Rosenborg

Rosenborg BK start their eighth consecutive campaign at home to Internazionale FC.

By Kadira Malkoc

Rosenborg BK may not be favourites to win the UEFA Champions League but they want for nothing in terms of experience as they start their eighth consecutive campaign on Tuesday. It is a record that no other European club can boast and they will need all their know-how when they host Internazionale FC at the Lerkendal stadium.

Full swing
However, Rosenborg do have the advantage of their league, which they lead, being in full swing and until Saturday, when they drew 1-1 with Vålarenga, the Norwegian champions were on a seven-game winning streak. This is in stark contrast to Inter who have been embroiled in the controversy surrounding the delay to Serie A.

Raise game
Rosenborg are aware, however, that they will have to raise their game for the Group D match having never beaten Italian opposition at home. Indeed, their only victory against an Italian side was at the San Siro in 1996 when they eliminated Milan AC from the competition. At home, Rosenborg have been beaten 2-1 by Sampdoria UC and 4-1 by Milan prior to three 1-1 draws with Juventus FC.

Eggen unconcerned
Rosenborg's coach, Nils Arne Eggen, who is in his last season with the club after 14 years, was not concerned by the weekend result. "Experience from recent years does not give any indications if it is a bad or good sign to play poorly in the domestic match before the Champions League," he said. Christer Basma is likely to retain his place in the centre of defence for Rosenborg with the Norwegian international midfielder Roar Strand therefore likely to play at right-back.

Good start
Inter, who beat Torino Calcio 1-0 in their Serie A opener on Saturday, will be eager to impress on their return to the Champions League after missing out last season and losing to Sweden's Helsingborgs IF in the qualifying round the season before. Héctor Cúper's side are playing a more offensive style this season with Christian Vieri and new signing Hernán Crespo being supported by two offensive midfielders in Alvaro Recoba and Stéphane Dalmat.

Tricky tie
However, they know they will face a tricky tie. "It will be a tough match," said the 23-year-old Dalmat. "I played against Rosenborg when I was with Paris Saint-Germain [FC] and it was extremely difficult. It's tough to face a club from northern Europe during this time of the season because they are in a much better physical condition than us."

'Great to be back'
Inter will be without Cristiano Zanetti and Andreas Guglielminpietro who are both injured. Fabio Cannavaro, Inter's new signing from Parma AC, is likely to play at right-back. "I prefer to play in the centre of the defence," the Italian national team captain said. "But I'm ready to do whatever Cúper wants. It's great for me to return to playing in the Champions League after losing twice in the qualifying round with [AC] Parma."