Coming to you this week live from a rather unpleasant coffeehouse in Oslo, it’s the world famous Tippeliga preview!
Viking (3rd) – Start (7th)
Very rarely does a points-average of 1 point per game put you in the top half of the table, but that’s the situation for Start just two games into the 2009 Tippeliga. They face a stern test here though as they visit Viking, who have been a lot less rubbish than their pre-season suggested that they would be.
Bodø/Glimt (14th) – Lyn (11th)
According to the most pessimistic reports these two will do well just to get through 2009 without going bankrupt, never mind staying in the league. On the pitch their problems are very different though, with Lyn’s biggest challenge being the fact that their squad mainly consists of 12 yearolds, while Bodø rely heavily on Runar Berg, who will turn 78 39 before the season ends.
Previews of the rest of Sunday and Monday’s games after the jump…
Strømsgodset (12th) – Molde (2nd)
Ronny Deila’s crafty cretins have had a difficult start to the season with just a point from their first two games, in stark contrast of Molde who look very impressive indeed with their two wins out of two. As long as their rather tasty midfield trident of Magne Hoseth, Thomas Holm and Daniel Berg Hestad stay fit there’s no reason why Molde shouldn’t continue their fine start.
Sandefjord (5th) – Fredrikstad (4th)
After their remarkable win against Brann on the opening day of the season Standefjord were well and truly brought back down to earth when they were easily brushed aside by Odd last round. Fredrikstad have so far looked like they have every intention of reprising their 2008 party-trick of picking up an awful lot of points whilst not really playing all that well, and you’d fancy them to continue that trend here.
Aalesund (8th) – Lillestrøm (9th)
Last season there was a bit of a backlash to this fixture as the otherwise amicable AaFK-fans had been giving Bjørn Helge Riise a bit of a stick, chanting that he was “the son of a whore”. This prompted Tv2′s chief sports anchor Davy Wathne to make a bit of a fool of himself by writing a blog demanding that if players are distracted by chanting the game should be stopped and the people responsible for the chanting should all be evicted. Good old Davy has clearly spent too much time in a studio and too little in an actual football ground, and his grasp of supporter-culture is comparable to NFN’s grasp of trigonometry. According to manager Kjetil Rekdal, the AaFk-fans should apologize to the boy this time around by applauding him when his name is read out before the game. Yes, that’ll definitely happen.
Stabæk (10th) – Odd Grenland (6th)
Amidst all the international news this week Stabæk went under the radar and made a potentially important signing: Swedish striker Fredrik Berglund arrived from Fc København. The 29 yearold joins on a season-long loan and will give Jan Jönsson some much needed options up front. Czech striker Senkerit Zdenek also joined, so now the Stabæk-squad isn’t quite so threadbare anymore. The international break will also have given Jönsson some more time in which to figure out what his best attacking lineup is, and NFN will be at Telenor Arena this Sunday looking to find out just what it looks like (both Jönssons new attacking lineup and Telenor Arena).
Rosenborg (1st) – Brann (15th)
Probably the pick of the bunch this round, with the 2007 Tippeliga champions squaring off against the 2006 (and probably 2009) champions. It’s an almighty task for Steinar Nilsen and his men, who after looking jaw-droppingly bad against Sandefjord in the first game of the season showed signs of recovery last round against Stabæk. Nilsen made himself an early contender for the 2009 “No shit Sherlock”-award this week by pointing out that Rosenborg are better now than they were a few years ago. Rune Jarstein has finally become a father after missing out on two internationals in anticipation of the event, but won’t be back in action here as he picked up a minor injury in training. Brann for their part will be missing Jan Gunnar Solli, or the Norwegian Jermaine Jenas as we call him over at NFN headquarters.
Vålerenga (15th) – Tromsø (13th)
You’ve gotta feel sorry for Martin Andresen. When you’re having a bit of a bad time of it as a manager, getting booed by your own compatriots as an international player, what you need is to get a nice, easy and event-free home game to get three points on the board and get the hacks and plebs off your back for just a few days. No dice Martin, because while they are at home they’re facing Tromsø, whose pride will be badly bruised from that tonking they took from Rosenborg before the international intermezzo. To add some spice to it, Tromsø have signed Vålerenga’s Lars Iver Strand on a loan after Mad Martin figured he didn’t fancy the Northerner anymore. If he plays, would you bet against the Northerner getting one over his former employer here?