April 21, 2008: UEFA Intertoto Cup draw:
HB Tórshavn meet Swedish side Elfsborg in the UEFA Intertoto Cup
The draw for the 2008/2009 UEFA Intertoto Cup was made on Monday and HB Tórshavn were drawn against Swedish side Elfsborg.
HB play at home on June 21 or 22, while the 2nd leg will be played a week later, on June 28 or 29.
It's not decided yet, if HB will be allowed to play their home-match on Gundadalur Stadium's artificial pitch (HB's home soil), although the pitch itself has been cleared for all international matches by FIFA. The only doubt is if the surrounding facilities (seats and such) will be given the approval-stamp. Our guess is that HB will be given the green light to host the match on the artificial grass.
IF not, then the match will moved to the natural grass at Tórsvøllur near by.
But in Sweden, the match will definitely be played on artificial grass, as Elfsborg play all their home matches on artificial grass.
Elfsborg won the league in 2006 (just as HB did), so there's no doubt that it's a quality outfit HB will be up against, although Elfsborg probably won't be challenging for the title this season, as they at the moment are positioned mid-table in the Swedish league, Allsvenskan, with 2 wins, 3 draws and 1 loss for their 6 games (although it's still early days). On home soil, they are unbeaten and look to be a real force.
And this could be a big hurdle for HB. Faroese clubs, not least HB, often have it very difficult on away soil, often losing by 3 or more goals. And that's something you just don't win back at home (HB play at home fist, however).
It will be mighty difficult for HB to qualify for the 2nd round, but not entirely impossible. Last season, KÍ Klaksvík conceded only one goal away to Swedish club Hammarby who won 1-0, and in the Faroes, Hammarby won 2-1. At that stage, KÍ were struggling near the bottom of the table domestically, whereas HB at the moment are leading the table with 3 wins in 3 games.
But realistically, HB's chances of going through are below 5%.
However, they shall be most welcome to prove me wrong :-)
The winner of the tie will face the 5th placed team from Scotland in the 2nd round.
Last ever Intertoto Cup
This summer’s Intertoto Cup is the last ever that will be held, as the structure of European club competitions has been changed; beginning in the 2009/2010 season.
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