Two points separate them and one qualifying place is the prize at stake as FC Schalke 04 and Rosenborg BK meet at the Arena AufSchalke on Matchday 6.
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Two points separate them: one qualifying place is the prize at stake. When FC Schalke 04 and Rosenborg BK meet at the Arena AufSchalke both will be aiming to seize the runners-up position in Group B behind Chelsea FC and the passport to the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds.
• Rosenborg are in the more comfortable situation of knowing that two results – a win or a draw – will suit them whereas Schalke have to win if they are to make it to the last 16 for the first time. If the German side draw or lose then they will be in danger of missing out on third place and the UEFA Cup should Valencia CF achieve, respectively, a victory or a draw away to Chelsea FC, who have already clinched first place in the section regardless of the Matchday 6 results.
• Schalke are still seeking their first home win in this season's competition. They began with a 1-0 defeat against Valencia and later played out a goalless draw with Chelsea. On their travels they won in Trondheim, lost in London and two weeks ago fought out a 0-0 draw in Spain to give themselves the opportunity to overtake Rosenborg in the section's final furlong.
• Their victory in Norway came courtesy of second-half strikes from Jermaine Jones and Kevin Kuranyi who broke clear in the final minutes to score with a fine curling effort. They will hope for a repeat of that form in this game and thereby improve their statistics on home soil in the competition. In their only previous two campaigns Schalke savoured victory in three of the six fixtures so, taking this season's results into account, they have won three of eight with three defeats and two draws.
• The fixture in Trondheim on 3 October was the first time Schalke had met a team from Norway in continental club competition whereas Rosenborg had previously faced German opponents in three home-and-away meetings.
• Those six games came within quick succession of each other with Rosenborg winning 3-0 away to BV Borussia Dortmund in the 1999/00 first group stage. As section winners the Norwegian side progressed to the second group stage where they met FC Bayern München and lost the away game 2-1. They faced the Munich giants again in the following season's UEFA Champions League first group stage and suffered another defeat, going down 3-1.
• Rosenborg are unbeaten on their travels in the current campaign, drawing 1-1 at Stamford Bridge on Matchday 1 and then winning 2-0 in Valencia on 6 November. Two weeks ago, with the other game in the group ending goalless, Trond Henriksen's team had the chance to secure their qualifying place in the home game with Chelsea. In the event the London club proved far too strong, Didier Drogba scoring twice inside the first 20 minutes at the Lerkendal Stadium with later goals coming from Alex and Joe Cole.