Nothing less than a victory will do for Rosenborg on matchday five, although that might prove to be easier said than done against Real Sociedad, the group stage's top scorers.
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Denied a vital home win on matchday four when they conceded a last-gasp equaliser to Zenit, Rosenborg entertain Real Sociedad, the group stage's top-scoring team, knowing nothing less than a victory this time will keep alive their hopes of further progress.
• Real Sociedad's first game against Norwegian opponents ended in a 4-0 win on matchday one as Rosenborg were well beaten in San Sebastian. Diego Llorente opened and closed the scoring, David Zurutuza and a Jørgen Skjelvik own goal finding the net in between.
• Rosenborg's record in 20 matches against Spanish teams is now W5 D3 L12. At home it is W4 D1 L5, with defeats in the last two and five of the last seven, when they have managed only one win.
• Norwegian champions Rosenborg have won only three of their 13 home fixtures in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage (D3 L7), most recently on matchday two against Vardar (3-1).
• Real Sociedad have lost five of their last seven European away games, though their most recent such fixture resulted in a 6-0 victory at Vardar on matchday three – the club's biggest European victory and also the biggest away win in the history of the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final.
• Rosenborg, who won both legs against last season's runners-up Ajax in the play-offs, have appeared in four UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns but are yet to make further progress – although they have made it into the round of 32 on three occasions via the UEFA Champions League group stage.
• Although Real Sociedad played in the UEFA Champions League group stage in 2003/04 and 2013/14, the San Sebastian side are making their debut at this juncture of the UEFA Europa League.
Links and trivia
• The journey from San Sebastian to Trondheim is a little short of 2,400km.
• Rosenborg's Nicklas Bendtner and Real Sociedad's Carlos Vela were team-mates at Arsenal from 2005–12, though both were loaned out for long spells during those seven years.
• Rosenborg, who are celebrating the 100th anniversary of their foundation this year, clinched their third successive Norwegian league title with three matches to spare on 4 November when closest rivals Molde lost at home to Kristiansund.
• Real Sociedad have not incurred a single yellow or red card in the first four matchdays – the only one of the 48 competing teams to have achieved that feat.
• La Real are the highest-scoring team in the competition after four games with 14 goals. The competition record number for the group stage as a whole is 22 – set by Napoli in 2015/16.
• Two Real Sociedad players currently top the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League assists chart – Sergio Canales with five and Xabi Prieto with four.
• Real Sociedad's Brazilian striker Willian José, who scored four goals in the 6-0 win at Vardar, celebrates his birthday (26th) on the day of the game – as does reserve goalkeeper Toño Ramírez (31st).
• Suspended for next match if booked: Tore Reginiussen (Rosenborg).
• Trondheim-born Kåre Ingebrigtsen has steered Rosenborg to three successive Norwegian titles since taking over in 2014. He played for the club in three spells as a midfielder, and was on the books at Manchester City from 1992–94.
• Real Sociedad boss since 2015, Eusebio Sacristán can complete a full set of major UEFA trophies this season, having won the European Cup and Cup Winners' Cup as a midfielder with Barcelona. He was also Barcelona's assistant coach and B team boss.