UEFA Europa League – Vardar-Rosenborg – Vardar v Rosenborg background
The 12-match European campaigns of both Vardar and Rosenborg come to an end on matchday six as the two clubs sign off from duty in Skopje.
• The Macedonian team have no points from their five games so far and are sure to finish bottom of Group L while their Norwegian visitors can finish no higher or lower than third.
• In the first UEFA men’s club competition game between Norwegian and Macedonian sides, Rosenborg overcame Vardar 3-1 in Trondheim on matchday two. Nicklas Bendtner opened the scoring from the penalty spot before Morten Konradsen and Vegar Hedenstad stretched the home advantage; Juan Felipe’s added-time strike – Vardar’s first goal in a UEFA group match – provided late consolation.
• With defeats in each of their first five group fixtures, Vardar are in danger of becoming only the fifth club to complete a UEFA Europa League group stage without registering a point. Their first two home matches in the section both ended in heavy defeats – 0-5 against Zenit and 0-6 against Real Sociedad.
• Rosenborg have lost their last four away group games and have no wins in the last seven (D1 L6).
• Domestic champions for a third season running in 2016/17, Vardar are the first club from FYR Macedonia to appear in the group stage of a major UEFA competition.
• Rosenborg, who reached this stage after winning both legs against last season’s runners-up Ajax in the play-offs, have now appeared in five UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns but are yet to make further progress – although they have figured in the round of 32 on three occasions via their UEFA Champions League group.
Links and trivia
• The journey from Trondheim to Skopje is around 2,500km.
• Vardar have conceded 19 goals in the first five matchdays – three more than any other team this season, and just one short of the record for most goals against in a completed UEFA Europa League group, set by Slovan Bratislava in 2014/15.
• This is Rosenborg’s 244th UEFA competition game – and Vardar’s 70th.
• Rosenborg, celebrating the 100th anniversary of their foundation this year, clinched their third successive Norwegian league title with three matches to spare on 4 November.
• Rosenborg goalkeeper André Hansen has made the most saves in the group stage – 26, one more than Athletic Club’s Iago Herrerín and BATE’s Denis Scherbitski.
• Cedomir Janevski returned to coach Vardar in August 2017, having previously served the Skopje team as a defender from 1982-89. He spent many of the intervening years in Belgium, where he played for and coached Club Brugge among others.
• 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.