Despite reaching the landmark of 50 successive matches at home without defeat, Red Bull Salzburg’s weekend was dampened by Wacker Innsbruck as they ended an eight-game winning run and prevented their rivals from starting the season by defeating every other side in the division with a 1-1 West Derby draw. In hope of reigniting the winning momentum, Salzburg face Rosenborg on matchday three of the Europa League group phase.
Rosenborg are like the Red Bull Salzburg of Norweigan football in that they are expected to win each and every game, as proclaimed by Fredrik Gulbrandsen, who spent his formative years in the Eliteserien before moving to Austria in 2016. Founded in 1917, the club is the most successful, and dominant, in the country; as exemplified in recent times with seven domestic titles in the past three seasons, and are on course for two more.
However, their form of late hasn’t been the most glamorous. In their last three league matches, Rini Coolen’s side has only managed to gain a single point, allowing second-placed Brann to close the gap behind them to two points with four matches remaining. With this in mind, Rosenborg will have one eye on their top of the table clash with Brann at the weekend, which could be a distraction for them.
After defeats to Celtic and RB Leipzig, the 25-time Norweigan champions are already under pressure in Group B and are in desperate need of their first points. But it will be no walk in the park for them at the Red Bull Arena. Salzburg are currently unbeaten in their last 14 European matches at home, winning ten and drawing four. To find the last defeat, we must go back to October 2016 when OGC Nice came to Wals-Seizenheim and returned with a 1-0 result.
Hence a defeat for Die Roten Bullen is rather unlikely. A more likely probability is that Munas Dabbur will find the back of the net once again. With one in Leipzig and a brace against Celtic, the Israeli is currently the joint top scorer, accompanied by Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz and Dinamo Zagreb’s Izet Hajrović, with three to his name.
Date: Thursday, October 25, 2018
Kick-off: 18:55 (CET)
Venue: Red Bull Arena
Referee: Irfan Peljto (Bosnia & Herzegovina)
Broadcasting: DAZN (Austria) | BT Sport Extra (United Kingdom) | B/R Live (United States)
05.02.17: Red Bull Salzburg 2-0 Rosenborg
Red Bull Salzburg
Schwaz 0-6 (A) | Wolfsberg 1-4 (A) | Celtic 3-1 (H) | Sturm Graz 1-2 (A) | Wacker Innsbruck 1-1 (H)
Vålerenga 2-0 (H) | Molde 1-0 (A) | RB Leipzig 1-3 (H) | Sandefjord 1-1 (H) | Lillestrøm 0-0 (A)
Red Bull Salzburg
Injured: Patrick Farkas (cruciate ligament), Jasper van der Werff (knee), Darko Todorović (ankle), Kilian Ludewig (concussion)
Absent: Birger Melling (illness), Pål-André Helland (recovery)
Doubtful: Issam Jebali (thigh)
Red Bull Salzburg
Lainer – Ramalho – Pongračić – Ulmer
Haidara – Samassékou – Schlager
Minamino – Dabbur
Hedenstad – Reginiussen – Hovland – Gersbach
Denić – Konradsen – Jensen
Levi – Bendtner – de Lanlay
Marco Rose: “We have indeed made a good start to the group, but ultimately we haven’t achieved anything yet. Rosenborg are probably facing their last chance on Thursday, and they are going to put everything they can into the match. If we don’t counteract this, things could go wrong for us very quickly. Matches are almost always very close on this level, so we need to continue to be determined and focused.”
Fredrik Gulbrandsen: “Rosenborg have a similar status in Norway as we do in Austria. You expect that they will win every match. As they haven’t managed that so easily recently that supposedly means they have problems. It will definitely be a difficult match for us though, as they are a technically strong and well-functioning team. We have to work hard if we want to get a win.”
Red Bull Salzburg 3-1 Rosenborg