You heard me. And after a fairly hectic summer-period one imagines quite a few of the Tippeliga players could do with a rest as well, which is why it’s so convenient that after this weekend the Tippeliga takes a two week holiday. Before that though there is a potentially cracking round of matches to be played, including the ultimate showdown of doom..
Lyn (16th) – Bodø/Glimt (15th)
Oh yes, here it is, the ultimate showdown of doom. It’s a well established fact that both these clubs are in more trouble than a hamburger trapped in Raymond Kvisvik’s fridge, but as if disastrous finances and a lack of points weren’t enough, both team’s managers are starting to behave very strangely indeed. Lyn-boss Kent Bergersen, a man how knows as well as everyone else that if his club could afford to sack him they would, managed to get himself sent off in Lyn’s recent cup-exit by kicking the ball at an opposing player. An opposing player, who was down injured. Way to go Kent, way to stay cool under pressure. Wether he’s cracking up or just had a other plans this weekend is unclear, but the sending off means he won’t be in the dugout for this one. His Bodø-based colleague Kåre Ingebrigtsen is also doing a fine impersonation of a man going a bit batty in the head, especially with his mind-boggling insistence on having a pop at the referee whenever his team gets outclassed by an opponent (which is fairly often these days).
Fredrikstad (12th) – Sandefjord (11th)
Now, there may be one more game to go before the summer vacation, but Sandefjord have for all intents and purposes been on holiday for a good while now. In the last two months, the whalers have picked up a grand total of.. wait for it.. three points. That is astoundingly poor. Fredrikstad are no great shakes either, but they’ve been fairly solid at home in recent weeks (2-1-0 in their last three) so this one looks as predictable as they come in this league.
Odd Grenland (3rd) – Start (6th)
If Lyn – Glimt is the showdown of doom, then this is very much the battle of the upstarts. Both these newly promoted sides have had the cheek to upset the establishment, admittedly aided by the establishment’s tendency to shoot themselves in the foot. Repeatedly. With heavy artillery. Still, Odd Grenland have been hugely impressive and Start have brilliant in patches, so there’s no doubt they both deserve their lofty positions in the league. For this one though you have to fancy Odd, with their home record being the best in the league (6-2-0) and Start still missing defensive lynchpin Clarence Goodson.
Lillestrøm (13th) – Aalesund (9th)
Now, buoyed by the prospect of the upcoming vacation, I’ll make this weekend’s edition of “What’s Kjetil Rekdal unhappy about this week?” will be an easy one. Ready?
“I’m not happy about [the answer]”
A – His wang
B – The state of the world economy
C – The 10 000 kr fine he received for calling Eirik Bakke an alcoholic on air
D – Tor Hogne Aarøy
Answers or other suggestions in the comments-section below.
Strømsgodset (14th) – Rosenborg (1st)
It’s David versus Goliath as the Rosenborg juggernaught goes to Drammen to take on everyone’s favorite Ronny and his gang of goers. Undefeated in the league and closing in on a vacation, if complacency is ever going to creep into the Rosenborg squad then this surely will be the time, so in a way this will be a bit of a test of Erik Hamren’s boys. Sadly for Ronny Deila, if it’s one thing Hamren has brought to Rosenborg it’s a more professional approach to these things..
Molde (2nd) – Brann (5th)
Now here’s a game where the country’s neutrals can all unite behind the same team, as the most entertaining team of this first half of the season takes on, well, Brann. Strangely, the boys from Bergen got away with all three points when they faced off earlier in the season. They achieved this by giving Molde’s Makhtar Thioune a damned good kicking whenever he so much as looked at the ball, a tactic they fully intend to repeat. What a charming bunch.
Tromsø (10th) – Vålerenga (9th)
Vålerenga’s only redeeming feature as far as neutrals are concerned is the fact that they do seem to be bringing quite a lot of tasty youngsters through these days, with guys like Amin Nouri, Mohammed Fellah, Harmeet Singh, Dawda Leigh, Mos and of course Moa all playing important parts so far this season. Moa of course made his mark on the Tippeliga last season and has continued to show glimpses of absolute class this season, making him a pretty hot potato in the summer transfer-market. Tromsø on the other hand have confirmed that they’ve re-signed young striker Vegard Braaten from Alta, a player who was on their books for years but whom they let leave for free this winter. Impressive stuff there.