Stjarnan unbeaten in Europe
Stjarnan are making their bow in continental football this term and have come through three preliminary rounds to make it this far: they saw off Welsh side Bangor with a pair of 4-0 wins (first leg at home, return in Wales), before putting out another British side in the shape of Motherwell (2-2 in the first leg in Scotland, 3-2 in Iceland after extra time). Finally, they prevailed against Polish outfit Lech Poznan (1-0 at home in the first leg, 0-0 in Poland in the second). That all means the side from Iceland are undefeated in Europe, having recorded four victories and two draws.
234 minutes without conceding
The home side’s backline has not been breached since the 66th minute of Stjarnan 3-2 Motherwell on 24 July. The remaining 54 minutes of that game (which went to extra time) plus two clean sheets against Lech Poznan makes it 234 minutes since Stjarnan last conceded in Europe.
Nerazzurri return to European competition
After a year away, Inter – in keeping with the club’s history and tradition – will once again grace European football, as the club begins this season’s Europa League campaign. The last time the Nerazzurri played on the continent was on 14 March 2013 when they beat Tottenham 4-1 after extra time at the Meazza. Inter would bow out though, having lost the first leg 3-0 in London.
Croat Strahonja to take charge
Marijo Strahonja has been named as the man in charge of Stjarnan v Inter. The referee will celebrate his 39th birthday tomorrow, 21 August. He has officiated games on the European stage since 2004 and this the first time he will take charge of either Stjarnan or Inter. Strahonja has only once refereed a team from Iceland (Larissa 1-1 KR in the 2009/10 Europa League) but he has twice crossed paths with Italian sides, with both matches ending all square: Palermo 2-2 Sparta Prague in the 2010/11 Europa League and Fiorentina 1-1 Esbjerg in the 2013/14 Europa League.
Runar Pall Sigmundsson
Runar Pall Sigmundsson was born on 5 May 1974. He spent almost his entire playing career with Stjarnan, except for brief spells with HK and Fram. He began coaching at Levanger, working there between 2010 and 2012. He took over at Stjarnan in October 2013.
First ever meeting
This is the first time Stjarnan and Inter have ever met.
Stjarnan play Italian opposition for the first time ever
Stjarnan will meet an Italian side for the first time ever in a competitive match.
The Nerazzurri have never played an Icelandic side
Inter will play a team from Iceland for the first time in the club’s history tonight.