OK, with Lars out of the picture, that leaves the door open for me gaining world domination… MOWAHAHAHA! Anyway, this preview’s a bit early because the Norwegian cup is also starting soon.
Now, for anyone unsure of how our cup works: Basically, for the first few rounds, the top teams will only meet teams from lower divisions, and the top teams will always play away too. The reason for this is basically that it gives those small teams a a chance to get some nice economic boost, since they are likely to have more more money on such a match than any other match of the season. And there’s always the million-to-one chance that the top teams end up making utter fools out of themselves and manage to lose, in which much merriment and schadenfreude ensues.
Personally, I save up extra schadenfreude during the winter just for such an occassion.
But anyway, -unless- something extraordinary happens in these early rounds, I’ll only make a short note in my previews/reviews that they are about to happen/have happened. Like I did just now. That’s the kind of serviceminded fellow I am.
Anyway, onwards to the actual preview (all games played on 16.05., as it’s sort of the national football holiday in Norway) :
Vålerenga (5th) -Aalesund (4th)
Two teams that are higly unstable and difficult to predict, yet has managed to get themselves in surprisingly cushy positions on the list so far. Vålerenga has the capability of utterly crushing teams like Odd Grenland, and then go on and lose to Strømsgodset, and draw against Hønefoss. If there is a pattern in their gameplan from match to match, it’s the kind you only see after smoking some really serious weed. As for Aalesund, their towering forward Tor Hogne Aarøy has been annoying manager Kjetil Rekdal by becoming more competent, which means Rekdal can’t be as unhappy about him as he wants to be. And since they’ve beaten Hønefoss but lost to Odd, pretty much anything can happen here.
Though most likely, it’ll be a scrappy game with one goal at most.
Rosenborg (2nd) -Hønefoss (15th)
The Rosenborg machine will roll on in its unimpressive manner, and this time, poor Hønefoss will have to suffer, even though they seem to have tightened up their defences lately.
So most likely, it’ll be a scrappy game with one goal at most.
Sandefjord (16th) -Viking (6th)
Sandefjord looks like to be this year’s Lyn, only with some fans. Lyn was 7th place in 2008 before botching it completely in 2009; Sandefjord was 8th last year and is seriously botching it now. Lyn had a good keeper and a young squad with some potential talent, same with Sandefjord. Lyn actually rarely lost with more than one goal in most of their matches, same with Sandefjord so far. So now we’re all wondering if their financial situation is going to become more interesting than their games.
Because this one will definitely be a scrappy game with one goal at most.
Odd Grenland (7th) -Tromsø (1st)
The only stable thing about Odd is that they are unstable. Season after season, they tend to have some weird pattern going on. One year, they win all home matches, and lose all away. Another time, they’ll take on all the top teams, but lose to the bottom feeders. Then their spring season sucks, but fall season’s great (or vice versa). And this year, it seems they’re determined to only win against teams that are currently in good form. This certainly can’t bode well for Tromsø…
But most likely, this will be a scrappy game with one goal at most.
Strømsgodset (8th) -Stabæk (11th)
As Lars would have said it, the plucky darlings of Strømsgodset got their nice home streak brutally violated by Odd the previous Sunday, but with that said, they’re probably still a damn tough bunch to meet on Marienlyst, especially for a rather lacklustre Stabæk who’s currently playing like they’re getting paid less than a million a year. For a club situated on the west side of Oslo, that’s like being poor, you know!
And most likely, this will be a scrappy game with one goal at most.
Molde (12th) – Haugesund (10th)
Magne Hoseth (I believe it was) wins this week’s “completely failing to spot the irony in what he just said” prize. He wanted people to stop blaming the referee every time they lose, and used Molde as an example: “We’ve lost 4-6 points this seasons due to bad calls, but we don’t blame the referee” was the memorable quote that for some reason, nobody thought to ask about whether it was a wise thing to say. In any case, Molde’s struggling more than they should be, and Haugesund have a knack of making life very hard for the opposing team if they’re considered amongst the big dogs.
So this will probably be a scrappy match with one goal at most.
Start (9th) -Kongsvinger (14th)
Start is the most-scoring team, but also amongst the teams that let in the most goals. That should bode for fun, except that they’re meeting a Kongsvinger who’s recently shown themselves to be slightly more competent lately – not that they had any other way to go but up – and who’s determined to defend themselves to death if need be, because they damn well need that one away point!
So this will probably also be a scrappy match with one goal at most.
Brann (13th) -Lillestrøm (3rd)
Henning Berg has finally managed to deal with the most slimy bunch of hideous creatures on this planet, which is the board of directors (or whatever) in Lillestrøm, and managed to come out victorious as the man in charge of the players; who finally seem to allowed to be themselves again, instead of having to do it “the LSK way” no matter what. And now his players are up against a Brann where Steinar Nilsen is most definitely struggling with players, fans, board of directors, and an entire nation filled with schadenfreude over their current position in the league.
This may actually be a game that has more than one goal in it! Unfortunately for Brann, they won’t be the ones scoring the most.