Tippeligaen Season Preview 2016

Aalesund:

Last season: 10th place

Players in:
GK Cramer (R)
DF Kirkeskov (R)
DF Arnarson (R)
MF Marlinho (R)
FW Gyasi (I)
FW Boli (I)

(Possibly DF John Arne Riise as well)

Players out:
GK Grytebust (I)
DF Dyrestam (R)
DF Nymo Matland (R/I)
DF Latifu (R)
MF Hoseth (R)
MF Bjørdal (R)
FW James (K)

Starting Lineup:
4-4-2:
Cramer
Arnarson – Lie – Skagestad – Kirkeskov
Marlinho – BH Riise (I) – Hoff – Gyasi (I)
Boli (I) – Mos

Transfer Summary:

Aalesund have seen some major changes at the back, with their GK as well as 3 regular DF’s gone. Cramer is a decent replacement for Grytebust, but some question marks over their back-line, and look overall significantly weaker defensively. That’s not a good thing, as they conceded almost 2 goals per game on average last season.

They also lost their best FW, but Boli seems an adequate replacement, and the new winger Gyasi is also very exciting. Expect an Aalesund-side that will be involved in some high-scoring matches this season.
NB: John Arne Riise is getting close to signing a deal with AAFK, and if that happens their defence looks suddenly a lot stronger.

Prediction: 9th – 12th place

Bodø Glimt:

Last season: 9th place

Players in:
GK Thomas (R)
DF Bjørnbak (I)
DF Jonassen (R)
DF Pedersen (S/R)
MF Babenko (I)
AM Jevtovic (R)
FW Wiig (R)

Players out:
GK Londak (R)
GK Staw (S/R)
DF Valentin (R)
DF Sanè (I)
DF Tønne (S/R)
MF Chatto (R)
MF Brix (S/R)
MF Cruz (R)
FW Sørloth (I)

Starting Lineup:
4-3-3:
Thomas
Jonassen – Bjørnbak (I) – Moe – Jacobsen
Konradsen – Babenko (I) – Furebotn
Olsen (I) – Wiig – Jevtovic

Transfer Summary:
Glimt have seen their 2 best GK’s as well as most of their defence left the club since last year, and could be in for a tough season. Still trying to sign one more GK as Thomas (new from Strømmen) is not very highly-rated. Bjørnbak is new from Haugesund, and he is likely to be the leader in defence this season. They had a very bad defensive record last year, and hardly looks improved this season.

Up front and in the middle they have also seen lots of changes, with key FW Sørloth as the biggest loss. Wiig hardly seems like an adequate replacement, and his competitor for the no.9 role Azemi is not much better either. Could therefore be a tough season for Glimt, but they will as usual take a lot of points at home.

Prediction: 12th – 15th place

Brann:

Last season: 2nd place (OBOS)

Players in:
DF Hatakka (S/R)
MF Johansen (R)
AM Vega (R)
FW Braaten (R)
FW Hvilsom (R/I)

Players out:
GK Udjus (S/R)
DF Hanstveit (S/R)
MF Rennie (S/R)
MF Birkelund (S/R)
FW Castro (S/R)

Starting Lineup:
4-3-3:
Leciejewski
Kristiansen – Demidov – Acosta – Nouri
Johansen – Haugen – Heltne Nilsen
Vega – Hvilsom – Huseklepp (I)

Transfer Summary:
Brann haven’t lost any players of any significance ahead of this season, and kept all their regulars since year. Their defence looks more or less unchanged, while in the middle Johansen is the only important signing. He will most likely take over Barmen’s place.

Up front is where there have been the most changes, with Hvilsom expected to take the no.9 role. Vega or Braaten will most likely compete for one of the wing-positions, with Huseklepp likely to take the other one. Looks overall stronger, and with several exciting players brought in to strengthen their attack I think Brann will have a decent season and finish well above the relegation-zone.

Prediction: 8th – 11th place

Haugesund:

Last season: 12th place

Players in:
GK Sandvik (S/R)
DF Tubic (R)
MF Anthony (S/R)
MF Mensah (S/R)
MF Tronstad (R)
MF Hajradinovic (R)
FW Miljeteig (I)
FW Ibrahim (R)

Players out:
GK Kristiansen (S/R)
DF Bjørnbak (R)
DF Våge Nilsen (S/R)
MF Haukås (R)
MF Christensen (R)
MF Bamberg (R/I)
MF Yusuf (S/R)
FW Gytkjær (I)
FW Diedhiou (R/I)
FW Riski (S/R)

Starting Lineup:
3-5-2:
Bråtveit
Tubic – Troost Ekong (I) – Skjerve
Haraldseid – Tronstad – Kiss – Mæland – Hajradinovic
Miljeteig (I) – Ibrahim

Transfer Summary:
Haugesund have seen lots of players leave this winter, and also changed manager near the end of last season. It will be a very different FKH-side we will see this year then, both in playing style and formation-wise.

Defensively they look ok, but it remains to be seen whether the 3-back line will be a success. They got decent players though, and look just as good as last year, if not better. In midfield they have signed a couple of interesting youngsters, with Tronstad and Hajradinovic as the most exciting ones. Might be that they lack some experience here though.

Up front is where we have seen the biggest changes, with their 2 best FW’s last season Gytkjær and Diedhiou both gone. They have signed a quick, young FW from Nigeria, but it remains to be seen how he will adapt to the Norwegian league. Miljeteig has only previous experience from lower-division football, but had a great season last year for Vard and will take the no.10 role.

With so many new faces, and a relatively young squad and inexperienced manager there are many question marks over FKH this season, but it seems to be a positive vibe around the club and they could surprise.

Prediction: 7th – 11th place

Lillestrøm:

Last season: 8th place

Players in:
MF Jradi (R)

Players out:
DF Ringstad (R)
MF Margeirsson (R)
MF Andersson (S/R)

Starting Lineup:
4-4-2:
Origi(I)
Skogseid – Kippe – Amundsen – Kind Mikalsen
Jradi – Martin (I) – Innocent – Ofkir
Knudtzon – Friday (I)

Transfer Summary:
Lillestrøm haven’t made too many changes since last season, and will field close to the same team as last year. They lost Ringstad, which was an influential wingback, and that is their biggest loss.

Lillestrøm have a very young squad, with several players who got their breakthrough last season. They look very exciting, and can cause problems for most teams this season. They lack depth though, especially in defence, and might have to sell 1-2 players midway through the season as well cause of economic issues. Still, overall LSK should have a very promising season ahead of them, and challenge for a top 5 finish.

Prediction: 6th – 9th place

Molde:

Last season: 6th place

Players in:
DF Peiponen (S/R)
DF Strand (S/R)
MF Aursnes (S/R)
MF Johnson (S/R)
FW Gudjohnsen (R)

Players out:
DF Linnes (R)
DF Semb Berge (R)
DF Simonsen (S/R)
MF Berg Hestad (R)
MF Singh (R)
MF Hussain (R)
FW Kamara (I)
FW Høiland (R)

Starting Lineup:
4-4-2:
Horvath
Flo – Gabrielsen – Forren (I) – Toivio
Mostrøm – Hestad – Gudjohnsen – Elyounoussi (I)
Gulbrandsen (I) – Bakenga

Transfer Summary:
Molde have lost several players since last season, including 6 players who saw regular playing time last season. The midfield seems the most weakened, but Gudjohnsen will add some experience there as he is likely to be used in a similar role as Berg Hestad’s last year.

They still got a very talented squad, but not as much depth as last season. With Solskjær back as a manager they should be a contender for the title, but still rate Rosenborg as a stronger team.

Prediction: 2nd – 4th place

Odd:

Last season: 4th place

Players in:
DF Semb Berge (R/I)
DF Våge Nilsen (R)
FW Kjelsrud Johansen (S/R)
FW Haugen (S/R)

Players out:
DF Jonassen (S/R)
DF Hurme (S/R)
AM Diouf (R)
MF Storbæk (R)
FW Johnsen (S/R)
FW Flo (S/R)

Starting Lineup:
4-3-3:
Rossbach
Grøgaard – Semb Berge – Hagen – Ruud
Samuelsen (I) – Oldrup Jensen – Nordkvelle
Zekhnini – Occean (I) – Halvorsen

Transfer Summary:
The biggest loss since last season is AM/FW Diouf, who scored 5 goals in 10 matches on loan last season. Other than that they havent lost anyone who played a significant role last season. They haven’t brought in too many players, but Semb Berge and Våge Nilsen will improve an already strong defence, and Odd will be very tough to score on this season.

Up front they are a bit thin behind veteran Occean in tne no.9 role, as there are still some question marks over Kjelsrud Johansen, who came back from Fredrikstad ahead of this season. They got good cover on the wings though,and got players in midfield as well who will contribute with goals. Should be another strong season for Odd.

Prediction: 2nd – 4th place

Rosenborg:

Last season: 1st place

Players in:
GK Londak (S/R)
DF Gersbach (S/R)
FW Rashani (S/R)
FW Gytkjær (I)

Players out:
MF Selnæs (I)
MF Gamst Pedersen (S/R)
FW Søderlund (K)
FW Mikkelsen (R)

Starting Lineup:
4-3-3:
Hansen
Svensson – Reginiussen – Lædre Bjørdal – Skjelvik
Jensen (I) – Konradsen – Midtsjø
De Lanlay – Gytkjær (I) – Helland (I)

Transfer Summary:
Rosenborg have lost maybe their 2 best players since last season in MF Selnæs and FW Søderlund, as well as LFW Mikkelsen. They have once again looked to Haugesund for a new striker, and Gytkjær should be able to replace Søderlund without too many problems although he is a different type of striker. Rashani also looks promising, and Riski have returned from his loan-spell too.

They still got a very big squad with lots of options in all positions, and look by far as the strongest team in the league. Think they will build on last year’s success and have them as a favorite for the title this season as well.

Prediction: 1st – 2nd place

Sarpsborg:

Last season: 11th place

Players in:
GK Østbø (R)
GK Kristiansen (S/R)
DF Toivomaki (R)
DF Jonsson (R)
DF Glesnes (R)
DF Østli (S/R)
MF Lund Nielsen (R)
MF Tveita (S/R)
MF Hovda (S/R)
AM Wembangomo (S/R)
FW Lindberg (I)
FW Bosetti (R)

Players out:
GK Kerr (R)
DF Thømt Jensen (R)
DF Nordvik (R)
DF Kronberg (R)
DF Bellaid (S/R)
MF Askar (R)
MF Øby (S/R)
MF Qaka (S/R)
MF Maguire (S/R)
MF Breive (S/R)
FW Zajic (R/I)
FW Wiig (R)
FW Kovacs (S/R)

Starting Lineup:
4-4-2:
Østbø
Toivomaki – Heieren Hansen (I) – Glesnes – Jonsson
Tokstad – Ernemann (I) – Lund Nielsen – Thomassen
Bosetti – Lindberg (I)

Transfer Summary:
Tons of changes for Sarpsborg ahead of this season, with 7 regular starters last year having left the club. They have brought in about just as many players, and will be hard to say how good they will be as a team.

They look overall slightly weakened defensively, but up front they should have more options this season. They got 2 exciting new FWs in Lindberg and Bosetti, and also got a good option in Mortensen. Should be able to improve on last year’s 37 goals scored I think, but will most likely finish around or just below mid-table this season as well.

Prediction: 9th – 13th place

Sogndal:

Last season: 1st place (OBOS)

Players in:
DF Raitala (R)
MF Sveen (S/R)
MF Birkelund (S/R)
MF Koomson (R)
FW Ramsland (S/R)

Players out:
MF Strand (I)
MF Drage (S/R)
FW Chikere (S/R)

Starting Lineup:
4-4-2:
Dyngeland
Teniste – Patronen (I) – Psyche – Raitala
Holsæter – Sarr (K) – Bolseth – Koomson
Otoo – Opseth (I)

Transfer Summary:
Not too many changes for Sogndal ahead of this season, but they have lost the important MF Strand. He can be tough to replace, but they still got a pretty good midfield. Their starting lineup overall looks strong, but they have little cover if they were to lose players with injuries etc.

Likely to struggle near the bottom of the table this season, but should have decent chances of staying alive IF the duo up front Opseth and Otoo continues their fine form from 2015. Still have to have them as one of the favorites to go down though.

Prediction: 12th – 15th place

Stabæk:

Last season: 3rd place

Players in:
MF Eghan (R)
FW Ohi (R)
FW Njie (S/ER)

Players out:
DF Jalasto (R)
AM El Ghanassy (I)
MF Annan (S/R)

Starting Lineup:
4-2-3-1:
Sayouba
Meling – Næss – Skjønsberg (I) – Granli
Issah – Østvold
Asante (K) – Eghan – Ohi
Kassi

Transfer Summary:
Stabæk have lost their highly rated coach Bob Bradley since last season, and replaced him with another foreigner Billy McKinlay who have little to none experience as a head-coach.

They also lost their best FW Diomande midway through last season, and now El Ghanassy is also gone so a lot of their attacking strength has vanished. The players brought in doesn’t really seem to be of the same quality, but they are still working on getting a new centre FW.

With a new, fresh manager and some important players since last season gone its highly doubtful Stabæk will be able to copy last season’s 3rd place, but I still expect them to finish on the upper half
of the table.

Prediction: 6th – 10th place

Start:

Last season: 14th place

Players in:
DF Heikkilä (R)
DF Robstad (R)
DF Skogmo (R)
FW Idekomon (R)

Players out:
DF Christensen (R)
DF Rindarøy (R)
DF Hammer (S/R)
DF Hodnemyr (S/R)
FW Stokkelien (S/R)

Starting Lineup:
4-4-2:
Opdal (I)
Robstad – Heikkilä – Vikstøl – Skogmo
Aase – Hollingen – Ajer (K) – Børufsen
Idekomon – Hoff (I)

Transfer Summary:
Start have hired a new coach in Steinar Pedersen ahead of this season, which have brought renewed optimism into the club considering how well Pedersen did with Jerv in OBOS-ligaen last year.

They have lost 2 of their regular DF’s, but signed some promising new players and look overall slightly better in defence than last year, although that doesn’t have to mean much.

Ajer is their main man in midfield, but he will leave the club for Celtic after 13 matches, which will have a big impact on the club. Behind him it looks very thin, so its important for Start to pick up as many points as possible before the summer-break.

Up front Start still lack a real goalscorer, but they are hoping the explosive and quick Idekomon can answer their prayers. Likely to be another tough season for Start, but with a bit of luck they could escape relegation this season as well.

Prediction: 13th – 16th place

Strømsgodset:

Last season: 2nd place

Players in:
DF Parr (R)
FW Keita (R)
FW Høiland (R)

Players out:
DF Horn (R)
DF Hanin (R)
MF Fossum (K)
MF Jradi (S/R)
FW Wikheim (R/I)
FW Ogunjimi (S/R)
FW Tagbajumi (S/R)
FW Lehne Olsen (S/R)

Starting Lineup:
4-3-3:
Bugge Pettersen
Parr – Valsvik – Høibråten – Vilsvik (I)
Francisco Junior – Abu (I) – Adjei Boateng
Keita – Pedersen (I) – Kastrati

Transfer Summary:
Godset have seen 2 regular DF’s leave the club, but have kept their most important ones and brought in former Norwegian NT full-back Parr as well. Looks overall just as good or slightly better in defence than last year, but have several players who are prone to injuries.

In midfield they have lost the highly important Fossum, which is a big loss. In Abu, Junior and Boateng they still got one of the better midfields in the league though, and got decent cover as well.

Up front they got plenty of options, with Pedersen likely to spearhead the attack. Høiland will also score a lot of goals, and they got quick players on both sides. If everything works their way, and they are not unlucky with injuries Godset could easily be the team that challenges Rosenborg hardest for the title this year.

Prediction: 1st – 3rd place

Tromsø:

Last season: 13th place

Players in:
GK Loncaric (R)
MF Sigurdarson (I)
MF Jacobsson (R)
MF Pedersen (R)
FW Moussa (R/I)
FW Johnsgård (S/R)
FW Lehne Olsen (S/R)

Players out:
GK Vestly Heigre (R)
GK Lekström (S/R)
MF Johansen (R)
MF Hansson (R)
MF Kind Bendiksen (S/R)
MF Drage (S/R)
MF Orsulic (S/R)
FW Ondrasek (K)
FW Moldskren (R)

Starting Lineup:
4-4-2:
Loncaric
Norbye – Ødegaard – Wangberg – Antonsen
Ingebrigtsen – Landu Landu – Jacobsson – Sigurdarson (I)
Åsen – Moussa

Transfer Summary:
Tromsø got a new GK ahead of this season in the Croatian Loncaric, but doesn’t seem like much of a step up compared to last season. Their back-line is more or less unchanged, which is another thing that should cause concern for Tromsø-fans.

In midfield Tromsø have seen several changes, but have signed some interesting new players in Jacobsson, Sigurdarson and Gamst Pedersen. Looks overall stronger here than last year, and got decent cover in all positions too. Up front they have lost their best FW in Ondrasek, and either Moussa or Lehne Olsen will take his position this year. Looks like a slight step down, but also here they got more options than earlier.

Overall it looks slightly stronger than last year, but with other teams having improved too Tromsø most likely struggle near the bottom of the table this year and could even go down.

Prediction: 14th -16th place

Viking:

Last season: 5th place

Players in:
GK Vestly Heigre (S/R)
DF Kronberg (S/R)
MF Ibrahim (I)
MF Sale (S/R)
MF Aasheim (S/R)
FW Pedersen (R)
FW Udo (S/R)

Players out:
GK Østbø (S/R)
DF Sigurdsson (I)
DF Solli (S/R)
MF Thioune (R)
MF Nisja (S/R)
AM Thorsteinsson (R)
FW Dadi Bödvarsson (R)

Starting Lineup:
4-4-2:
Austbø
Danielsen – Mets – Soares – Haugen
Bytyqi – Ibrahim (I) – Jørgensen – Adegbenro (I)
Abdullahi – Pedersen

Transfer Summary:
Viking have lost their leader in defence Sigurdsson, which could turn out to be a big blow. He was the glue in their defence, and they don’t really have a natural leader to step up and take his place. They still got a very good central back-line though, and also a solid keeper so it should be overall ok.

In midfield Ibrahim looks like a great signing, and they have also brought some interesting youngsters in Aasheim and Sale who both are likely to see a decent amout of playing-time. Up front Bödvarsson is gone, and its expected the Danish FW Pedersen will replace him, but he looks at first sight like a big step down. Behind him there are only youngsters, including a quick and talented FW from Nigeria in Udo.

Overall it should be another good season for Viking, and if everything goes their way they could be able to challenge for a top 3 finish. They will need to keep their profiles though, and their best player last year Adegbendro is being pursued by several bigger clubs.

Prediction: 3rd – 6th place

Vålerenga:

Last season: 7th place

Players in:
GK Sandberg (R)
GK Falch (S/R)
DF Arvidsson (R)
DF Nedrebø (S/R)
MF Juklerød (S/R)

Players out:
GK Buchert (R)
GK Langer (S/R)
DF Gunnarson (S/R)
MF Mathisen (R)
MF Hallberg (S/R)
FW Berre (S/R)
FW Braaten (S/R)

Starting Lineup:
4-2-3-1:
Sandberg
Larsen – Jääger – Wæhler – Arvidsson
Berge (I) – Grindheim
Fredheim Holm – Zahid (I) – Lindkvist
Moa (I)

Transfer Summary:
Not too many changes for Vålerenga ahead of this season, but they have changed their goalkeepers. Overall their defence looks like status quo compared to last season in terms of strength.

Their midfield is also more or less unchanged, and they got plenty of options in all positions with decent back-up. Up front they hope Moa Abdellaoue will stay injury-free, as if he does he might be the best FW in the entire league. Zahid will most likely have the no.10 role, and they also got quick players on the flanks.

Vålerenga is another team that could challenge for a medal I think, but I have some concern over their defensive strength so a finish just below the best seems more likely.

Prediction: 4th – 7th place

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