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UEFA Europa League Qualifying Preview: Rosenborg out to crush Crusaders dream
Jul 02, 2013 1:11 PM EST
Norwegian outfit Rosenborg will be hoping to take one step towards the UEFA Europa League group stage when they face Crusaders on Thursday.
Per Joar Hansen's men face the Northern Irish side in the first leg of the first qualifying round and travel to the game as heavy favourites.
The Trondehim outfit finished third in the Tippeligaen last term and are just four points behind leaders Stromsgodset after 14 games this season.
They represent stern opposition for Crusaders, who finished second in the IFA Premiership, and will look to striker Nicki Niels Bille Nielsen to deliver the goals.
Hungarian side Videoton, who were narrowly eliminated in the group stage last year, take on Mladost Podgorica of Montenegro.
Videoton won two games in a group containing Genk, Basel and Sporting Lisbon in that campaign, and will be hoping to work their way through the qualifying rounds under the guidance of Portuguese manager Jose Manuel Gomes, who joined the club in January.
Turnovo will make their European debut when the Macedonian club travel to Lithuania to face Suduva, and goalkeeper Stojan Dimovski admitted that the encounter will be the biggest game in their 63-year history.
"This is the club's biggest game and also the first European match for most of us, the players, so it's like a final," the Suduva captain told UEFA's official website.
A total of 76 teams will contest the first qualifying round of the Europa League, with the action commencing on Tuesday.
Welsh side Bala Town will be among those aiming to make an impression as they face Estonian outfit Levadia Tallinn.
Levadia's domestic rivals Trans Narva are also in action on Tuesday against Swedish side Gelfe, while Azerbaijani sides Qarabag and Khazar Lankaran take on Macedonia's Metalurg Skopje and Malta's Sliema Wanderers respectively.