Airtricity Premier Division champions Sligo Rovers are hoping to record a historic victory against Norwegian side Molde FK when they face the 2012 Tippeligaen winners at Aker Stadion on Tuesday evening.
Sligo Rovers manager Ian Baraclough believes that his side can overturn the one goal deficit from the first leg. "We know we have to score a goal and win the game but we believe that we can do that," he told the Irish Times. "The first legs in these things always tend to be cagey affairs but I think this one might be a bit more open and that should suit our lads who I think only really realised when it was too late last week that they could play against these guys.
"If we keep our shape and settle into the game then I don’t see any reason why we can’t get the goal we need."
Despite carrying knocks, Iarflaith Davoren and Joseph Ndo have travelled to Norway, and face late fitness tests ahead of the clash, while both Danny North and Raffaele Cretaro have been added to Sligo's 20-man squad. However, Baraclough is apprehensive about changing his formation to accomodate a second striker. "That might be a little bit of a gamble but sometimes games like this require a bit of a gamble," he admitted.
After playing in high temperatures at the Showgrounds, Molde manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes the sides can expect similar conditions at the Aker Stadion. "It was 30 degrees and dry, so it was hard for a while," Solsjkaer told NRK. "This is why we were pushed back in the second-half. Now it seems that it will be warm in Molde, but we will water the pitch so that helps the pace of the game."
Solsjkaer has brought in five new faces to Molde in the past week, including Mats Daeli from Manchester United and Vegard Forren, but only the former Southampton defender is eligible to take to the pitch against Sligo. "Vegard Forren you will see, the others are not registered yet. So we have to make sure we progress for them to be involved."
Should Sligo progress, they will face the winners of the tie involving TNS of Wales and Polish champions Legia Warsaw, who recorded a 3-1 victory in the first leg.