The champions of UEFA's northernmost island nations will meet tonight with FH Hafnarfjördur expecting a tough battle from their Faroese guests HB Tórshavn.
The champions of UEFA's northernmost island nations will meet tonight with FH Hafnarfjördur expecting a tough battle from their Faroese guests, HB Tórshavn.
Celebrating their third successive appearance in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League, the draw threw Iceland's Hafnarfjördur something of a curveball, with a game against the champions of the neighbouring Faroe Islands. It is only the second meeting of clubs from the two countries following B36 Tórshavn's 3-2 aggregate win against ÍBV Vestmannyjær in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup.
Hafnarfjördur assistant coach Heimir Gudjónsson was sent to the Faroes to watch HB in action in a recent game. He said: "We are determined to do well against HB but Faroese football has improved very much so we are going up against a good team and need to play well to win They have lot of players in the national team, which is doing well. They have a powerful attack so we have to be aware."
With the Faroese league season on a one-month break, HB are fourth in the table but already close to qualifying for European competition in 2008/09 after reaching the final of the Faroese Cup. They beat VB/Sumba on 11 July to set up a showcase decider against EB/Streymur on 15 August. Hafnarfjördur, meanwhile, are top of the Icelandic league.
Gudjónsson was thus feeling confident as he looked ahead to the HB game. "Our plan now is to win the two games," said the 38-year-old former Iceland midfielder. "We aim to get through two rounds and this game against HB is the first hurdle. After a draw against ÍA Akranes in our last game at home we are very focused on doing well and want to do even better against HB."
The winners of the tie will meet the victors of the tie between Cyprus's APOEL FC and FC BATE Borisov - no small incentive for Hafnarfjördur. "It is always nice to take part in the UEFA competitions and play against teams we have not met before because here in Iceland we are up against the same players year after year," said Gudjónsson. "It is also good to see where we stand."