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Esbjerg out to press home Elfsborg advantage

Esbjerg fB will look to establish themselves even more firmly at the top end of UEFA Europa League Group C as outgoing Swedish champions IF Elfsborg head to Denmark on matchday four.

Hans Henrik Andreasen celebrates scoring his second goal at Elfsborg
Hans Henrik Andreasen celebrates scoring his second goal at Elfsborg ©AFP/Getty Images

Esbjerg fB can put an end to IF Elfsborg's chances of reaching the UEFA Europa League round of 32 as the 2012 Swedish champions cross the Skaggerak still looking for their first Group C win.

Previous meetings
• Two headed goals from Esbjerg captain Hans Henrik Andreasen laid the groundwork for a 2-1 Esbjerg win when the sides met for the first time on matchday three, Jon Jönsson striking back for the hosts with a powerful free-kick.

• Esbjerg's only prior experience of Swedish opposition was a 1980/81 European Champion Clubs' Cup first round tie against Halmstads BK, which they won with a 3-2 home win after a 0-0 draw in Sweden.

• Elfsborg's five games against Danish sides have ended W1 D2 L2 (W0 D1 L2 at home – W1 D1 L0 in Denmark). Their only win against Danish opponents was a 1-0 success at FC Nordsjælland, part of a 2-1 aggregate triumph in this season's UEFA Europa League play-offs.

• A draw looks the most likely outcome judging by the previous 23 encounters between Swedish and Danish clubs in UEFA competition; the Swedes trail the Danes 7-4 in terms of wins, but 12 of those matches ended in ties.

Match background
• Esbjerg beat AS Saint-Étienne home and away in the play-offs to make it to their first UEFA club competition group stage.

• Esbjerg have lost four of their last five European home games, with a 4-3 win against St- Étienne their lone success in that run.

• Elfsborg picked up just one point in their only previous group stage tilt – in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup, when they were also in Group C: they drew their opener 1-1 at home against AEK Athens FC then lost to ACF Fiorentina (6-1), FK Mladá Boleslav (1-3) and Villarreal CF (2-0), finishing bottom of their section.

• They have already matched that total thanks to a 1-1 draw at home against R. Standard de Liège on matchday two.

Team facts
• Elfsborg defender Andreas Klarström spent five seasons with Esbjerg from 2006 to 2010, where he was twice a losing Danish Cup finalist.

• Elfsborg midfielder Anders Svensson's next UEFA Europa League game will be his 50th in UEFA club competition.

• Elfsborg's Danish forward Mikkel Beckmann celebrated his 30th birthday on the day of the first game against Esbjerg. He played for Brønshøj BK, Lyngby BK, Randers FC and Nordsjælland before coming to Sweden after a short spell in Cyprus.

• Elfsborg also have a Danish goalkeeper – Kevin Stuhr-Ellegaard, who has played for Nordsjælland and Randers, with Manchester City FC, Hertha BSC Berlin and sc Heerenveen his biggest foreign clubs.

• Elfsborg's Jönsson (Brøndby IF 2008-10) and Lasse Nilsson (Aalborg BK 2008) likewise have Danish experience.

• Elfsborg are one of nine clubs who entered the group stage as domestic champions along with NK Maribor (Slovenia), FC Sheriff (Moldova), Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC (Israel), PFC Ludogorets Razgrad (Bulgaria), Legia Warszawa (Poland), FC Shakhter Karagandy (Kazakhstan), APOEL FC (Cyprus) and GNK Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia).

Coach information
• Hired as Esbjerg coach in the summer of 2013 after Jess Thorup moved on to helm Denmark's Under-21 side, Niels Frederiksen took an unusual path into top-flight football. An economics graduate, he worked at a bank while coaching youth teams at B.93 København and Lyngby BK, eventually being hired as the club's senior coach in 2009. He led them to promotion in the first of his four seasons in charge.

• Jörgen Lennartsson was dismissed as Elfsborg coach ahead of matchday two, with his side having failed to sparkle after winning the Swedish title in 2012.

• Youth coach Klas Ingesson has stepped up to take charge of Elfsborg for the remainder of the Swedish season. A bronze medallist with Sweden at the 1994 FIFA World Cup finals, the midfielder played abroad for KV Mechelen, PSV Eindhoven, Sheffield Wednesday FC, AS Bari, Bologna FC, Olympique de Marsille and US Lecce. His coaching career has been interrupted by an ongoing battle with cancer.