Odd

Norway

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.

The Tippeliga preview that really needs a vacation

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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.

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 16: Relentless Rosenborg, the mysterious Mr. Huseklepp and laughable Lyn fans

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This recent bout of hot weather has made Norwegians hit the beaches like dyslexic gangsta rappers, but like busses in the Stavanger-area the Tippeliga waits for no one, and so here is a quick roundup of the latest batch of games from the top tier of Norwegian football.

By now you really must be getting tired of reading this phrase, but it continues to be the case and we're too hot to figure out a more clever way of wording it: Unless Rosenborg sell their entire midfield in the summer, they'll win the league.

The sunburned preview

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A rare outbreak of sunshine in the Western bits of the country has left NFN's Norwegian offices in a state of confusion and chaos, yet we struggle manfully on and here is an unusually pithy preview of this weekend's action.

Sunday

Tromsø (13th) Aalesund (9th)

Tromsø will be desperate to improve on their rubbish home-record (1-4-2), while Aalesund will be desperate to get attention for something else than what's coming out of their manager's mouth.

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.

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

Â

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 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.

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.

The Rest

Xabi Alonso, Eat Your Heart Out

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With the advent of such video services as 101 Great Goals taking credit for this clip as well and the time-sucking vortex that is the 'Related Videos' section on YouTube, it's very rare to spy a football video and be able to say, "I've never seen that before."

I've never seen this before.

Coin Toss Alternatives

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I came across an interesting newspaper article entitled, "Heads or Tails? It Depends on How You Flip It," in the October 18, 2009 Sunday edition of the Contra Costa Times. The authors Jon Wilner and Mark Emmons reference a study conducted by Stanford and UC Santa Cruz researchers that claim that a coin toss may not be a 50-50 proposition if you know which side is facing up when the coin is tossed.

DTotD: Flip off

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Like a mule that kicks anyone who gets too close, this goalkeeper will flip you over his back if you crowd him while he's collecting the ball. And the strange part is that no one seems to mind.