Leipzig have to win against point-less Rosenborg to have any hope of snatching second place in Group B on matchday six.
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It is a case of win or bust for RB Leipzig as they bid to snatch the runners-up spot in UEFA Europa League Group B from Celtic. It has been a forgettable campaign for visitors Rosenborg, who have lost all five of their fixtures.
• Defeated 1-0 at group winners Salzburg on matchday five, Leipzig fell three points behind second-placed Celtic, but their superior head-to-head record in the two games against the Scottish champions (2-0 home, 1-2 away) means the German club will reach the round of 32 if they beat Rosenborg and Celtic simultaneously lose at home to a Salzburg side that are yet to drop a point.
• Rosenborg are guaranteed to finish bottom of the group, their five defeats yielding just three goals for and 13 against.
• The teams had never met prior to matchday two, when Leipzig triumphed 3-1 in Trondheim. That was also the German side's first UEFA encounter with a Norwegian club.
• Rosenborg have won only once in 13 matches against German opponents and have lost five of their six games in Germany, including their two previous UEFA Europa League encounters – both at Bayer Leverkusen (0-4 in 2010/11, 0-1 in 2012/13). Indeed their five matches against Bundesliga teams in this competition, home and away, have all ended in defeat.
• Leipzig finished sixth in the 2017/18 Bundesliga to make it two European qualifications in a row, their debut continental campaign having ended in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals – eliminated by Marseille – after they finished third in their UEFA Champions League group.
• Having defeated Häcken of Sweden and Romania's Universitatea Craiova in their first two qualifying ties this season, Leipzig needed a last-gasp penalty to win their play-off 3-2 on aggregate against Ukrainian club Zorya Luhansk.
• That successful spot kick enabled Leipzig to prolong their winning run at home in Europe to five matches, but that sequence ended against Salzburg on matchday one (2-3). Their overall home record in Europe now stands at W7 D1 L3.
• A record 25th Norwegian title in 2017 – which was supplemented by a 26th last month – earned Rosenborg a place in this season's UEFA Champions League qualifying phase. After going out in the second qualifying round to Celtic, they won all four of their UEFA Europa League qualifiers against Cork City and Shkëndija to secure a second successive season in the group stage.
• Rosenborg finished third in their UEFA Europa League group last season – behind Zenit and Real Sociedad – and have now failed to reach the knockout phase in five attempts. Indeed every one of their last 13 European group stage participations across all competitions has been unsuccessful.
• A pair of 2-0 away wins against Cork and Shkëndija reversed Rosenborg's fortunes on their European travels after five games without a win (D1 L4), but the two reverses at Celtic (0-1) and Salzburg (0-3) mean they have still won only once away in 14 UEFA Europa League group stage encounters (D2 L11) – a 2-1 victory at Rapid Wien in 2012/13.
Links and trivia
• Leipzig's Yussuf Poulsen and Rosenborg's Niklas Bendtner have played together for Denmark.
• Bendtner played for German club Wolfsburg in 2014/15 and 2015/16 and was on the winning side in a German Cup tie against Leipzig (2-0). His Rosenborg team-mate Even Hovland played four times for Nürnberg against Leipzig in the 2. Bundesliga, winning twice and losing twice.
• Rosenborg clinched their fourth domestic league title in a row with a 1-0 win at Start on 11 November. They completed the domestic double with a 4-1 victory against Strømsgodset in the Norwegian Cup final on 2 December.
• Ralf Rangnick returned as RB Leipzig coach in the summer of 2018, having held the position in 2015/16 when he led the club into the Bundesliga. He has been the club's sporting director since 2012, his appointment having come after a premature departure from Schalke, where he was working for the second time following a highly successful sojourn at Hoffenheim during which he secured back-to-back promotions. He is set to be replaced as Leipzig coach by current Hoffenheim boss Julian Nagelsmann in 2019.
• A defender who played for Go Ahead Eagles, Heracles, De Graafschap and AZ Alkmaar in his native Netherlands, Rini Coolen has over 20 years of coaching experience, albeit mostly as an assistant. Before taking over as Rosenborg's interim boss in July 2018 following the dismissal of Kåre Ingebrigtsen – and steering the club to another domestic double – his last head coach role had been a brief stint at the helm of the Aruba national team in 2015. He has also worked in Australia and Dubai.