CELTIC v ROSENBORG: THE FACTS

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* CELTIC and Rosenborg are two of the 12 reigning national champions competing in the Europa League group stages.

* TONIGHT will be the Norwegians’ third visit to Parkhead in two seasons, the previous two having ended in a goalless draw and a 3-1 defeat.

* CELTIC have won five and drawn two of their eight games against Rosenborg. At home, the Hoops have won three and drawn one of the four encounters.

* BRENDAN RODGERS’ men got the better of their Norwegian counterparts in last season’s Champions League third qualifying round, winning 1-0 away after a goalless draw at home, James Forrest scored the winner in Trondheim.

* CELTIC were unable to secure a hat-trick of Champions League group stage appearances this term, their elimination of Rosenborg followed by defeat to AEK Athens. A 4-1 aggregate victory over Lithuanian champions FK Suduva in the Europa League play-offs maintained the club’s interest in Europe.

* THIS is Celtic’s fifth season in the Europa League group stage. Three of their four previous campaigns have ended in elimination, the exception 2014/15, when they reached the round of 32. They also got to that stage of the competition last season after finishing third in their Champions League group, but lost 3-1 on aggregate to Zenit St Petersburg after Callum McGregor’s volley in the first leg.

* ROSENBORG have won all four of their this season’s Europa League qualifiers against Cork City and Shkëndija to secure a second successive season in the group stage.

* CELTIC’S Swedish international defender Mikael Lustig played for Rosenborg between 2008 and 2012, winning two league titles.

* KRISTOFFER AJER and Rosenborg’s Matthías Viljalmsson played alongside each other in the 2014 and 2015 Norwegian top flight for IK Start. Ajer is a current Norwegian international and team-mate of Rosenborg pair Tore Reginiussen and Birger Meling.

* ROSENBORG’S Dutch boss Rini Coolen has over 20 years experience of coaching, mainly as an assistant. He played as a defender for Go Ahead Eagles, Heracles, De Graafschap and AZ Alkmaar. Before taking over as Rosenborg’s interim boss in July following the dismissal of Kare Ingebrigtsen, his last Head Coach role had been a brief stint at the helm of the Aruba national team in 2015. He has also worked in Australia and Dubai.

* Don’t miss the big-match report between Celtic and Rosenborg this evening in your champion CQN.

* ‘Billy McNeill: In Praise of Caesar’ is the latest Celtic book from author Alex Gordon. In this magnificent tribute book to the Celtic legend, chief executive Peter Lawwell has written the Foreword, there’s a personal message from Brendan Rodgers and there are interviews with around forty of Billy’s friends in football including Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Kenny Dalglish, Davie Hay, Gordon, Strachan, Roy Aitken, Paul McStay, Frank McAvennie, Frank McGarvey, Charlie Nicholas, Pat Bonner, Bertie Auld, Jim Craig, John Clark, Bobby Lennox, Willie Wallace and so many more. It’s on sale now at CQN Bookstore and here is the link:

https://cqnbookstore.com/Book/billy-mcneill-in-praise-of-caesar/

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