Lillestrøm

Norway

Tippeligaen, round 25: Media fervently hopes for actual excitement about the gold, young talented kid plays without a worry in the world.

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As the battle for the may-be-important fourth place rages on, the mainstream media still prove to be a bunch of clueless cowards, preferring to seek out pretend drama that may or may not become real at some point in the future. NFN will thus be the only provider of the real drama RIGHT NOW, and we'll start by once again puttin up the part of the league table that really matters:

4 Aalesund 39
5 Odd Grenland 38
6 Strømsgodset 37
7 Start 35
8 Haugesund 35
9 Viking 34
10 Lillestrøm 33
11 Stabæk 33

As you can see, seven teams are still within reach of that glorious fourth place.

Round 3: Lillestrøm Hump Hopeless Hønefoss

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The whole Tippeliga-thing isn't really working out so far for Hønefoss who were thumped 6-0 at Åråsen. Elsewhere Kongsvinger are also pointless after the first three, pre-season favorites Rosenborg, Molde, Viking and Stabæk all dropped points and there were more peculiar pleasantries from Kjetil Rekdal.

Tippeliga Round 1: Rosenborg Sneak Snowy Showdown

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"Ac Milan have an old squad". "Arsenal play pretty football". "Steffen Iversen is a bit fat". The footballing world is full of these tired, old, yet inescapably accurate clichés. "Rosenborg won in spite of not playing all that well" is well on it's way towards becoming one of them.

Yes, Rosenborg have picked up exactly where they left off last season, and on a pitch that as the game wore on became better suited to a snowball-fight than a game a of football, Rosenborg picked up three crucial opening-day points against fellow title-hopefuls Molde.

Tippeligaen Round 18: A fitting end to part one

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As the curtains close on part one of the Tippeliga, the 18th round proved a highly appropriate ending: Rosenborg won without impressing anyone, Molde won and impressed everyone, Lyn shot themselves in the foot and the rest was all a bit random.

Now, nothing would be more gratifying than to report that the bullies from Bergen where humped, thumped, thwacked and indeed wallopped by a magnificent Molde.

Tippeliga round 17: Goals galore in terrific Tippeliga

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Well, terrific if you like your games full of goals and incidents. No so much if you like, youknow, vaguely competent defenders.

After a couple of pretty stale rounds the Tippeliga perked up a bit in round 17, with goals flying in at a fairly bonkers rate of 4,4 goals per game. Still, no matter how hard the ever-excitable TV2 tried to talk it up, it was hard for the discerning viewer to watch the weekend's highlights without being slightly troubled by the hopelessly poor defending displayed by most of the Tippeliga outfits.

The overheated Tippeliga preview

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Really, this has to stop now, this wonderfully stereotype-busting weather currently enjoyed in most of the country makes it virtually impossible to get anything done.

Saturday

Sandefjord (9th) Odd Grenland (3rd)

Right, the fact that this game is well underway at the time of writing renders this preview utterly pointless.

Tippeliga round 15: Just when you thought it was getting a bit dull..

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Tippeliga rounds are coming thick and fast, and the market is in severe danger of being flooded. The issue is in no way helped by the fact that Rosenborg are running away with the league, while everyone else just look a bit knackered. So, with the league currently a less than entrancing event in purely sporting terms, we need some good old soap-opera to keep it interesting.

The pollenized Tippeliga preview

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After several teams looked sluggish and tired at the weekend, this midweek round could see some very random results even by the Tippeliga's standards..

Wednesday

Fredrikstad (14th) Lyn (16th)

One rather peculiar quirk of the current standings is that bottom of the table Lyn actually have a better goal difference than Aalesund, who are eighth.

Tippeliga round 14: Decent day for the doomed and the desperate

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13 games in and there are three teams in particular who look like they could be heading for doom and despair (or the Adeccoliga, as some call it), but amidst the casual randomness of the Tippeliga few things are ever certain and on matchday 14 all three of those teams picked up points..

Leading the line of the troubled threesome is Lyn, who even by their standards face a remarkably bleak set of circumstances.

The financially solvent Tippeliga preview

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As clubs across the board sack players and cut wages, we here at NFN plow on heroically..Â

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SaturdayÂ


Sandefjord (9th) VÃ¥lerenga (5th)

After Mad Martin Andresen realized he was about to lose his job a couple of weeks back, he shelved ambitions of playing expansive football and went into "let's just not get fired"-mode.

Norwegian cup update

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The second round of the Norwegian cup was so staggeringly uneventful and dull that we here at NFN elected to ignore it altogether. However, with an epic shootout in the South, a local derby in the Southwest and rampant minnows up North, the third round was an entirely different kettle of fish...

We start up North with the upset that wasn't really an upset.

Tippeliga round 13: Quite good really

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Honestly, it may be that our brains were dulled by watching Norway and that we've lost the ability to judge these things objectively, but wasn't that a rather good round?

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The Tippeliga rolled back into life in predictable fashion this Saturday when Rosenborg won 3-0 over a hard-working but undeniably limited Strømsgodset.

The overworked Tippeliga preview

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Enough with this international nonsense, let's get on with the proper football..

Saturday

Rosenborg (1st) Strømsgodset (13th)

And we start this weekend's preview with an appeal. Strømsgodset are a nice little team with a likable manager and a bunch of sympathetic players (and Stian Ohr).

Macedonia v Norway preview

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As Drillo prepares for his date with destiny, we here at NFN run the ruler over the Norwegian squad and look at what we can expect from Macedonia in the game that will determine wether or not Norwegians can start dreaming about South Africa 2010 again..

Norwegian Squad

Goalkeepers

Jon Knutsen - Stabæk

HÃ¥kon Opdal - Brann

Rune Allmenning Jarstein - Rosenborg

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Defenders

Espen Ruud - OB, Denmark

Jon Inge Høiland - Stabæk

Kjetil Wæhler - AaB, Denmark

Brede Hangeland - Fulham, England

Morten Fevang - Odd Grenland

John Arne Riise - Roma, Italy

Trond Erik Bertelsen - Viking

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Midfielders

Fredrik Winsnes - Strømsgodset

Henning Hauger - Stabæk

Christian Grindheim - Heerenveen, Holland

Bjørn Helge Riise - Lillestrøm

Per Ciljan Skjelbred - Rosenborg

Simen Brenne - Odd Grenland

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Wingers/Forwards

Daniel Braaten - Toulouse, France

John Carew - Aston Villa, England

Erik Huseklepp - Brann

Morten Gamst Pedersen - Blackburn, England

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Steffen Iversen and Tore Reginiussen were both called up to the initial squad, but withdrew due to injury.

Tippeliga, round 12: Dominant Rosenborg march on

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Rosenborg still better than anyone else, Brann still can't be bothered against smaller teams, Molde still quite tasty, Viking still struggling: In the excessively random world of the Tippeliga there are still some things you can rely on..

The best team in the league versus the (on current form) worst, Rosenborg's visit to Bodø was always going to end badly for the hosts.

The Tippeliga Preview that’s unsinkable

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Today is in fact the 98th anniversary of the Titanic being launched, and NFN is acknowledging this by publishing this unsinkable preview, which will no doubt hit a metaphorical iceberg at the earliest possible opportunity.Â

Monday

Fredrikstad (13th) - Start (2nd)

FFK's bright idea of going into the season with eight players in their first team squad on the last year of their contracts was always going to end up creating some sort of a stink, and their chief executive's bright idea of telling Norway's biggest tabloid that the situation was like "winning the lottery" didn't really help.

Burly Brann maul Molde

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Brann 2 - 0 Molde

Highlights

There is something profoundly annoying about Brann. Probably because we're told by the media that their fans are among the best in the country while actually they're a fickle bunch who only sing when they're winning. Probably because saying the club is run like a circus would be an insult to circuses.

Tippeliga, round 11: No place like home

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Before this round pundits were claiming that the high number of draws and away wins this season meant the 2009 Tippeliga is a bit rubbish. With seven out of seven games played over the weekend ending in a home win, does that mean it's now quite good?

Kjetil Rekdal's superbly entertaining rants at his own players this season has prompted much moralizing and finger-wagging from people who think they know better.

The Tippeliga Preview that looks worse than it actually is

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Sunday

Start (3rd) - Bodø/Glimt (9th)

While Start's diminutive druggie may be almost universally adored by Norwegian football fans, Erik Mykland has been cynically kicked around the park by most teams he's come up against so far this season. Sporting director Svein Mathisen is less than thrilled: "Everyone thought it was great that Myggen was making a comeback beforehand, but now people are trying to put him out of the game," he told TV2, before going on to suggest that the players who rough up Mykland should be sent off.

Tippeliga, round 10: Mad Martin thwarted by the paranormal

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Uneven, unpredictable, and utterly bonkers: This round was typical Tippeliga, for better or worse.

In Oslo the derby-ghost remains un-busted as VÃ¥lerenga failed to overcome a Lyn team possibly powered by the paranormal. Mad Martin's merry men held a 1-0 lead going into half time after a decidedly dull first half, but then in the second it all exploded into insanity, and after strange things had happened in both ends of the pitch the score at full time was 4-4.

The Tippeliga preview that always thought Azar Karadas was the missing link

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More midweek madness in the Tippeliga as Molde try to keep up with Rosenborg, Mad Martin tries to hold on to his job for a few more days, Lyn try to keep the derby-ghost alive and Viking try to be less terrible at football.

Thursday

Molde (2nd) - Tromsø (12th)

The whole Tore Reginiussen-situation is growing increasingly bizarre.

Tippeliga, round 9: Brann’s party well and truly pooped, while Rosenborg recover to stay on top

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The annual May 16th round of the Tippeliga attracts big crowds of people ready for a party, as people look to kick off the May 17th constitutional day celebrations a few hours early.

No place typifies the May 16th phenomenon like Brann Stadion. Now Brann-fans are a fickle bunch, but when they're all out and up for it there are few grounds in the Tippeliga that generates a better atmosphere, and May 16th is usually one of those occasions.

The Tippeliga preview that’s broke, but still better off than Lyn

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Don your party hat and ready your flag, tomorrow is the traditional May 16th round of the Tippeliga and we're all going to party like Steffen Iversen on a weeknight.Â

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VÃ¥lerenga (8th) - Fredrikstad (6th)

According to polls on the Dagbladet website, Vålerenga have both the best and the worst fans in the country, neatly illustrating the problem with such polls.

The Tippeliga preview that’s broke, but still better off than Lyn

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Don your party hat and ready your flag, tomorrow is the traditional May 16th round of the Tippeliga and we're all going to party like Steffen Iversen on a weeknight.Â

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VÃ¥lerenga (8th) - Fredrikstad (6th)

According to polls on the Dagbladet website, Vålerenga have both the best and the worst fans in the country, neatly illustrating the problem with such polls.

Norwegian Cup Round 1: Big dogs cruise through

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Norwegian teams are off on the road to UllevÃ¥l after a first round that was like a footballing equivalent of a Harry Potter-convention: Plenty of belief, but no actual magic to be found.Â

The Norwegian cup is a terrifically democratic competition: No favors are given to the big names from the Tippeliga as they start on square one along with the rest of the pack.

Round 8: Are Norwegian goalkeepers the new Scottish goalkeepers?

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Yes, after a gaffe-tastic round 8 we have to ask. You can keep your Frank Haffey, your Fred Martin and all of your Andy Gorams, on the evidence of tonight the Norwegian goalkeepers are as dodgy as they come.Â

Starting with what should be the big dog, Rune Jarstein, assumed to be Drillo's first choice for the upcoming internationals.

The Tippeliga preview that habitually oversleeps: Midweek-edition

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Midweek madness in the Tippeliga! While you're waiting for a certain Champions League semi-final to kick off, why not sit back and watch some players who don't make more in a week than you do in a year? It's fun, we promise..

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WednesdayÂ

Sandefjord (4th) - Viking (5th)

Have Viking turned a corner ?

Resurgent Brann batter poor unfortunate LSK

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Brann 3 - 1 Lillestrøm

Highlights

So, put yourself in Henning Berg's shoes for a minute. You're trying to radically rejuvenate an aging team by bringing through a bunch of youngsters at the same time. Your team hasn't played terribly, but you still find yourself without a win so far this season.

Brann vs Lillestrøm preview

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Brann (12th - 1-3-2, 6 points, goal-difference -2) vs Lillestrøm (16th - 0-3-3, 3 points, goal-difference -4)

In a televised one-off midweek fixture, two of the most highly rated young Norwegian managers will pit their wits against each other. And both Henning Berg and Steinar Nilsen find themselves in sticky situation, because as it turns out reputation alone doesn't get you points.

Tippeliga, Round 6: Rosenborg again, but have Molde been jinxed?

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You know it's been an eventful round when a goalkeeper can slap someone in the face and no one really takes any notice. Even Norwegian broadcaster TV2, who are more interested in controversies than actual football, had more interesting things to talk about this week. Erik "Myggen" Mykland made his first appearance in the Tippeliga in 13 years, Christian Bolanos recorded an early candidate for goal of the season, Rosenborg showed why their name is on the trophy this season, an 18 year-old defeated the reigning champions and Sandefjord won their first away-game at the highest level in 15 attempts.

Roy Hodgson spotted in Norway - Rosenborg raid on the cards?

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Fulham manager Roy Hodgson was spotted watching a match between Lillestrøm and Rosenborg in the Norwegian Tippeliga this Sunday evening. The former Viking and Finland gaffer already has two Norwegians on his books, and could well be looking to spend a chuck of his summer transfer-kitty in the Norwegian market.

The Preview That Won’t Be Stopped By The Sniffles

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This weekend's Tippeliga preview contains pollen allergy, diving, a first mention of NFN's smug-o-meter, an injured Jesus look-alike, stripping and the possibility of a sporting director going into orbit. What more could you possibly want?

Saturday

Molde (1st) - Viking (11th)

As the Norwegian end of NFN well knows, it's simply impossible to make pollen allergy sound butch.

The Preview That Won’t Be Stopped By The Sniffles

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This weekend's Tippeliga preview contains pollen allergy, diving, a first mention of NFN's smug-o-meter, an injured Jesus look-alike, stripping and the possibility of a sporting director going into orbit. What more could you possibly want?

Saturday

Molde (1st) - Viking (11th)

As the Norwegian end of NFN well knows, it's simply impossible to make pollen allergy sound butch.

Round 5: Mostly 1-1, and lots of angry people

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In the social democracy that is Norway we're all about sharing, but this is getting ridiculous: A baffling six out of seven games this weekend ended in 1-1 draws. You'd think that with all this brotherly sharing of points going on the aftermath would be a tranquil one, but the fallout from the weekend fixtures is dominated by various forms of angry men.

Round 5: Mostly 1-1, and lots of angry people

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In the social democracy that is Norway we're all about sharing, but this is getting ridiculous: A baffling six out of seven games this weekend ended in 1-1 draws. You'd think that with all this brotherly sharing of points going on the aftermath would be a tranquil one, but the fallout from the weekend fixtures is dominated by various forms of angry men.

Round 5: Mostly 1-1, and lots of angry people

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In the social democracy that is Norway we're all about sharing, but this is getting ridiculous: A baffling six out of seven games this weekend ended in 1-1 draws. You'd think that with all this brotherly sharing of points going on the aftermath would be a tranquil one, but the fallout from the weekend fixtures is dominated by various forms of angry men.

The Preview That Would Rather Be Outside

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Now what's this then? A clear blue sky and not a rain-bearing cloud in sight? In Bergen?! The town is ripe with confusion and scantily clad felines, while in Oslo flying pigs have been spotted, Sarpsborg has frozen over and apparently Azar Karadas managed to successfully control the ball several times during Brann's training-session yesterday.

The Preview That Would Rather Be Outside

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Now what's this then? A clear blue sky and not a rain-bearing cloud in sight? In Bergen?! The town is ripe with confusion and scantily clad felines, while in Oslo flying pigs have been spotted, Sarpsborg has frozen over and apparently Azar Karadas managed to successfully control the ball several times during Brann's training-session yesterday.

The Preview That Would Rather Be Outside

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Now what's this then? A clear blue sky and not a rain-bearing cloud in sight? In Bergen?! The town is ripe with confusion and scantily clad felines, while in Oslo flying pigs have been spotted, Sarpsborg has frozen over and apparently Azar Karadas managed to successfully control the ball several times during Brann's training-session yesterday.

The Preview That’s On Tour

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Coming to you this week live from a rather unpleasant coffeehouse in Oslo, it's the world famous Tippeliga preview! Saturday 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.