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Brann battle for Norway's honour

SK Brann will look to end a disappointing run for Norwegian sides in the UEFA Cup group stage as they host UEFA Intertoto Cup survivors Hamurger SV in Group D.

Brann in training
Brann in training ©Getty Images

SK Brann will look to end a disappointing run for Norwegian sides in the UEFA Cup group stage as they host UEFA Intertoto Cup survivors Hamburger SV in Group D.

• The two sides have never met in UEFA club competition.

• Brann have only met German opposition on one previous occasion, a UEFA Cup first round tie against Werder Bremen in 1998/99 where they lost 4-0 in the away leg but won 2-0 at home.

• Hamburg's only previous meeting with Norwegian opposition came in the group stage of the 2005/06 UEFA Cup where they won 2-0 at home against Stavanger-based Viking FK. This will be their first competitive game on Norwegian soil.

• Brann coach Mons Ivar Mjelde may have never come up against Bundesliga opponents, but the former striker will have a decent knowledge of the German language having played in two seasons in Austria with FK Austria Wien.

• Two Brann players have experience of playing in Germany. Moroccan-born defender Hassan El Fakiri spent the last two seasons at VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach. Norwegian international team-mate Azar Karadas also spent last season in Germany, with the forward playing on loan at 1. FC Kaiserslautern.

• Brann are the third Norwegian side to compete in the UEFA Cup group stage after both Viking and Trømso IL competed in the 2006/07 campaign. The former one once, drew one and lost two of their games while Trømso won once and lost the remaining three in their section.

• Brann have been more dangerous away from home in the UEFA Cup this season, with wins in all three of their games on the road – and an aggregate score of 14-4 – compared to two wins and a defeat at home with an aggregate score of 8-5.

• A 1-0 win at PFC Litex Lovech in the first round ended a run of nine away games without victory in European competition for Hamburg since they won 1-0 at PFC CSKA Sofia in their first 2005/06 UEFA Cup group stage game.

• FC Basel 1893 are at home against Stade Rennais FC in the day's other Group D game.

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