After a comprehensive result in the first leg, Bodo Glimt aim to complete safe passage from the Champions League’s first qualifying round, as they visit KI Klaksvik on Tuesday.
A 3-0 win in Norway sees last season’s Europa Conference League quarter-finalists within touching distance of a second round tie against either The New Saints or Linfield.
Following a hat-trick from Nigerian striker Victor Boniface at Aspmyra Stadion last week, Bodo/Glimt take an almost unassailable lead to the Faroe Islands on Tuesday.
Having made a major impact in continental competition by causing no end of trouble for Jose Mourinho‘s Roma last season – and eliminating Scottish champions Celtic – Glimt are now targeting a place in the Champions League group stage for the first time.
Kjetil Knutsen‘s side won the Norwegian top flight for just the second time last year, finishing top of the Eliteserien with 63 points and qualifying for another shot at Europe’s top club competition.
Located within the Arctic Circle, Glimt are already 13 matches into the defence of their domestic crown, and sit third in the table following Saturday’s 4-1 win over Sarpsborg – with Boniface bagging two goals in the second half.
Eight points behind leaders Lillestrom in the league, Den Gule Horde will be keen to complete the formalities of European progress at KI’s Djupumyra Stadium this week, having lost to Legia Warsaw at this stage last year.
By contrast, KI’s hopes of making the next round hang by the thinnest of threads, as the hosts are faced with a three-goal deficit to overturn in Klaksvik.
The Faroese champions entered their Champions League campaign on the back of a 4-2 league win over NSI at the end of June – posting their fourth straight victory in the process – but were taught a harsh lesson in Norway last week.
Mikkjal Thomassen‘s side are currently top of the Faroe Islands Premier League table – racking up 43 points from 15 matches – and have registered 41 goals already, so are used to scoring freely at a lower level.
KI fell in the first qualifying round for last season’s Europa Conference League, but did reach the second stage of the 2020-21 Champions League qualification process before losing to Switzerland’s Young Boys.
Having lost six and won just one of their previous seven Champions League fixtures, the odds are certainly stacked against them pulling off a remarkable comeback on Tuesday.
Bodo/Glimt are sure to capitalise on the red-hot form of striker Victor Boniface, who has scored five times in his last two appearances, so the 21-year-old should lead the line in a front three for the visitors.
Alongside him up front, Amahl Pellegrino has found the net on eight occasions in the league this term, with Ola Solbakken expected to fill the third attacking slot.
Both were among the top scorers in the inaugural Europa Conference League last season, and they will feature in an XI largely unchanged from last week’s first leg.
Meanwhile, KI are likely to match up their opponents in a 4-3-3 formation, with Pall Klettskaro starting at centre-forward. The former Faroe Islands international has been in prolific form at domestic level this season, scoring 10 times in 14 league games.
Once again, Jakup Andreasen captains the side from central midfield, while Danish goalkeeper Mathias Rosenorn provides the hosts’ last line of defence.
KI Klaksvik possible starting lineup:
Rosenorn; Pavlovic, Vatnsdal, Brinck, Da Silva; R. Joensen, Bjartalio, J. Andreasen; Mikklesen, Klettskaro, Sabala
Bodo/Glimt possible starting lineup:
Haikin; Sampsted, Moe, Hoibraten, Wembangomo; Vetlesen, Hagen, Saltnes; Solbakken, Boniface, Pellegrino