Rosenborg are still seeking their first point in Group D as they host Sporting CP, who triumphed 1-0 in Lisbon on Matchday 3.
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Norwegian champions Rosenborg are still seeking their first point in Group D as they host a Sporting CP side who defeated them 1-0 in Lisbon on Matchday 3 in the first competitive encounter between the clubs, Yannick Bolasie scoring the decisive goal – his first in Europe – in the 70th minute to lift the Portuguese side to within one point of section leaders PSV Eindhoven.
• While Sporting recovered from a Matchday 1 defeat in Eindhoven (2-3) to overcome LASK 2-1 in Lisbon before making it two home wins out of two last time out, Rosenborg have incurred three successive defeats – 0-1 at LASK and Sporting either side of a 1-4 reverse at home to PSV.
• Rosenborg's 11 previous UEFA fixtures against Portuguese opponents have yielded four wins, one draw and six defeats. Three of the victories have come in Trondheim, though the most recent – 2-1 against Benfica in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup third round second leg – proved in vain as they had lost the first leg 1-0 in Lisbon.
• The Matchday 3 encounter was Sporting's first game against Norwegian opposition for 20 years. Their previous two away games have finished 3-0 – the first of them in their favour, against Lyn Oslo in the first round of the 1971/72 European Cup Winners' Cup, the second in favour of their hosts, Viking, in round one of the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup, a tie the Lisbon side lost 3-1 on aggregate.
• Rosenborg won their tenth Norwegian domestic double last year, adding a 12th cup victory to a 26th league title – both national records. It was their fourth Eliteserien triumph in a row. They also played 14 European fixtures in 2018, ending their campaign in the UEFA Europa League group stage, where they lost their first five matches before a consolation 1-1 draw at RB Leipzig on matchday six.
• European participants in 30 of the last 31 seasons, this is the Trondheim club's sixth appearance in the UEFA Europa League group stage, and they have failed to reach the knockout phase in all five previous attempts. The last time they finished in the top two of a European group came in the 1999/2000 UEFA Champions League.
• Rosenborg kicked off this season in the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round, eliminating Linfield (2-0 a, 4-0 h), BATE Borisov (1-2 a, 2-0 h) and Maribor (3-1 a, 3-1 h) before losing to Dinamo Zagreb in the play-offs (0-2 a, 1-1 h). Unbeaten at home during the qualifying phase, they lost all three UEFA Europa League group games in Trondheim last season, and are now on a run of five successive home defeats in the group stage as well as a sequence of 13 games without a victory in the competition proper, home and away.
• Sporting qualified automatically for the 2019/20 group stage by winning last season's Portuguese Cup, a penalty shoot-out victory in the final against Porto adding to a third-placed finish in the Liga. They also reached the UEFA Europa League round of 32, where they were knocked out by Villarreal.
• This is Sporting's ninth appearance in the UEFA Europa League proper – a competition record – and their seventh in the group stage, five of their previous six having brought further progress into the knockout phase. The Lisbon side's best performance came in 2011/12, when they reached the semi-finals.
• Sporting's record away from home in the UEFA Europa League group stage is W7 D2 L10. They were unbeaten outside Lisbon in last season's competition (W2 D2), including a 0-0 draw at eventual runners-up Arsenal – the only time in four Matchday 4 encounters on the road that they have avoided defeat.
Links and trivia
• Rosenborg's on-loan Norwegian international striker Bjørn Johnsen spent 18 months in Portugal during the early part of his career, playing for third-tier Louletano in 2013/14 and until February of the following season for second-tier Atlético CP.
• Rosenborg goalkeeper André Hansen's next appearance in UEFA club competition will be his 50th.
• Sporting need one more goal to reach 100 in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final – a tally so far attained by only five other clubs.
• Rosenborg's run of 13 matches in the UEFA Europa League proper without a victory is two shy of the competition record, set last season by Apollon Limassol.
• Rosenborg are currently fourth, outside the European qualifying spots, in the 2019 Eliteserien and can not retain their title, trailing leaders Molde by 14 points with three matches remaining.
• After a playing career spent mostly in the Norwegian lower leagues with Vard Haugesund but latterly with local rivals FK Haugesund, Eirik Horneland became an assistant coach with the latter before taking charge of Norway's national Under-19 side in 2015. At the end of the following year he returned to Haugesund as head coach, where he spent two seasons, the second of which brought a fourth-placed finish in the Eliteserien and earned him, at 43, the plum job at reigning champions Rosenborg, where he replaced Dutch interim boss Rini Coolen.
• The son of a former player, Emanuel Ferro opted instead for a career in coaching that began at the age of 24 and led to a job with Benfica's youth team. Between 2014 and 2015 he had a spell abroad as the assistant coach to Malaysia and the head of Espérance de Tunis's youth sector before returning to Portugal to work at Sporting CP as assistant to the Under-14, B and U23 teams. He was briefly head coach of the latter, replacing Leonel Pontes, and now works alongside Silas in the senior side's current regime.