Shamrock Rovers learn Europa Conference League fate

Shamrock Rovers now know who will be faced in the group stages of the Europa Conference league. While avoiding the big names in this tournament, the opposition will be high calibre as the Dublin side will face Molde FK, Djurgarden and KAA Gent. Hawkeye Sidekick reviews the opposition for Rovers.

Stephen Bradley will be happy with the draw. The teams here are good sides and Shamrock Rovers have learned plenty on taking the game to their opponents in this European fixtures.

Tallaght Stadium must be a fortress; the hope is that Shamrock Rovers can be well organised and counter attack well to secure some points on the road.

Molde FK

Molde FK

A side who know a bit about SSE Airtricity League teams. They played Dundalk a few seasons and won both group fixtures. A well organised side, physically very strong with pace to burn upfront.

Molde FK are leading the Eliteserien in Norway by five points with nineteen games played. They have negotiated fixtures against IF Elfsborg, Kisvarda and Wolfsberg with the minimum of fuss.

Datro Fofana is their star striker. The nineteen year old from Ivory Coast has scored seven league goals so far this season. The side has only conceded seventeen goals in domestic league action this season so chances against the Norwegians will be at a premium.

Djurgarden

Djurgarden FC

The Swedish side sit third in their domestic league. They have scored forty goals while conceding only fifteen goals so far this season after nineteen rounds of league games.

They have advanced to the group stage of this competition courtesy of wins over Rijeka, Sepsi and Apoel Nicosia which was a feisty tie with red cards seen during the opening tie.

Watch out for Joel Asoro and Victor Edvardsen who have scored six goals each in domestic league action. Yet another side who will be well organised and have excellent pace in the final third. Set piece as per Scandinavian sides will be on point.

KAA Gent

KAA Gent

Gent come into this tournament on the back of an Europa League elimination from Omonia. They lost to Neil Lennon’s side 4-0 on aggregate. A disappointment and one would wonder may linger into this tournament.

The Belgians have started the Belgian Pro League in solid fashion. They currently lie seventh in the league after four league games. Two wins and two draws to open the season.

Cuypers has been prominent with two goals early in the campaign. Gent advanced to European competition this season by securing top spot in a playoff league along with Mechelen, Genk and Charleroi.

They were beaten in the Belgian Super Cup by Club Bruges last month. 1-0 loss but Gent were not afraid to take a shot; fifteen shots from the side during that final so their opposition in this group have been warned about the side taking shots from outside the box.

It is a compelling draw for Shamrock Rovers. They can focus on domestic action now and look to lock in the title before this competition starts. There are wins for the side here given their form in Europe this season.

As Stephen Bradley has stated post Ferencvaros last night, Rovers must impose their will on the game and not let their opposition dictate. These side will punish Rovers if that pattern of play emerges. I sense a few wins here for Shamrock Rovers during this league.

Gent are top seeds but vulnerable ones at that. Molde FK for me look the pick of the sides here along with Djurgarden but Shamrock Rovers have the skill and organisation to pose these sides problems particularly in Tallaght Stadium where the home support will play a huge part. Roll on September!