22 August 2019
Dinamo Zagreb and Rosenborg go head-to-head at the Stadion Maksimir for the first leg of their Champions League (CL) play-off tie in what will be the first-ever meeting between these two sides.
Unbeaten in all ten outings across all competitions this term (W8, D2), the hosts go into this clash off the back of a 2-1 away win over Inter Zapresic in their respective national championship. They have kicked off their European campaign in the second qualifying round, dumping out the Georgian side Saburtalo 5-0 on aggregate (2-0 A, 3-0 H) before edging past the Hungarian outfit Ferencvaros 5-1 on aggregate (1-1 H, 4-0 A). The Blues have secured five wins in their last seven European games (W5, D2), as they now hope to successfully negotiate their seventh CL playoff tie following last year’s failure against Young Boys (W4, D2). A potential worry for Nenad Bjelica could be Dinamo’s disappointing record against Norwegian teams (W1, D3, L1), although that one triumph has come on home soil.
Hopeful that they can reach the CL group stage for the first time since 2007/08, the visitors come into this fixture after racking up a six-game unbeaten run across all competitions (W4, D2). Interestingly, three of those triumphs have been settled by a multiple-goal margin, with just one seeing Rosenbor keep a clean sheet. Unlike their opponents, Rosenborg have started their qualifiers in the first round, going past Linfield 6-0 on aggregate (2-0 A, 4-0 H). The reigning Norwegian champions have then eliminated BATE Borisov 3-2 on aggregate in the second qualifying round (1-2 A, 2-0 H) before setting up this tie with a 6-2 aggregate triumph against Maribor (3-1 A, 3-1 H). Eirik Horneland’s men would, however, like to forget their 2018-19 European campaign as they’ve finished bottom of their respective Europa League group, achieving a single point in six games.
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