I'll try to make this as simple as possible. To really explain the predictions, I would need to write about each team's squad, coach, starting lineup, history, recent results, new signings and more. All that would be fun and interesting, but what happens when the league starts later today is what will really determine how I feel about the teams and players chances. Someone's ideas and predictions seldom turn out to be entirely accurate, and once the first two rounds have been played, it's like a revelation. New players shine, others don't. Some teams play great, 6. Lynand others disappoint. Of course this thread is not about that, it's about looking at the teams before the league starts, squads, coaches, tactics and everything, and making a prediction for the final league table. Well here it comes:
3. Lillestrøm SK
Fighting for Royal League entry:
Lower half, and in danger of worse:
Not their season:
14. Odd Grenland
I'm a little bit uncertain about RBK this year, as I've been the past few seasons. While Sapara was amazing last season, and the new players sound exciting, there's something that's not quite right. Tørum was too successful when he took over as coach, despite having no experience on the top level. There are several new foreigners in the squad, and traditionally that's not a good thing for Rosenborg. However, the overall level of the squad and history puts them first in my prediction.
Second place was the most difficult. I think both Brann and LSK have got something going, and will challenge RBK for the gold.
Brann seem stronger at the start of this season, than at the start of the last one, and this could be their year. If Martin Andresen is in top form, and the strikers don't miss too many chances, this could be their season.
I think Nordlie will get an amazing start at LSK, even if it might eventually fade away. Simen Brenne seems a great signing, but I'm not sure he can cover the loss of Robert Koren.
Vålerenga has the funds, the fans, the team to fight in the top. But I think they could have done even more on the transfer market. Mila sounds interesting, and Jalland will certainly do a good job though.
Stabæk had the best striker duo in Tippeligaen 2006, and they will probably succeed again. Add Furuseth Olsen to a talented squad, and I think Stabæk will have a fine season.
Start could go either way. I think they are one of the more uncertain teams in Tippeligaen. If the two new Brazilians fail the team will almost certainly struggle badly, but if they are as big of a success as some say they will be, that could be the extra push the team needs to pick up an extra 10-15 points.
Viking seems to be on the roll with Rosler, and will definetly be stronger this season than in 2006.
Edu is an amazing player for Lyn, but the team around him doesn't seem that strong. I'm also uncertain if he'll stay, or if he'll play all matches for the team. I don't think the team will get any lower than this though, and I think it's more likely that Viking or Start will struggle than Lyn if it should come to that for either of the three mid table teams.
The new players are very strong for Strømsgodset. Some people might be surprised when I say that AaFK was the better team of the two last season, but I really think they were, just slightly more unstable, which showed on the final table. However, SIF has taken no chances, and have bought in some great players in Aas, Johnsen, Ohr and Bergdølmo.
Tromsø usually have to fight against relegation, but they seem fairly strong this season, mostly because of the two strikers. Årst and Rushfeldt can not get injured, or TIL is heading for disaster.
Aalesund...what can I say. I want AaFK to win the Champions League. However, despite having the most beautiful city in the world, the best fans, the coolest jerseys, we've never survived a single season in the Norwegian top league. The midfield seems stronger than ever, The wings are unique, and the keeper is one of the best in the world on his best days. However, will the new defence gel or sink like times in the past, are the strikers good enough, and will Brown stay free of injuries? We must survive, and we will survive. I believe, and that's all that matters for this ranking.
With Fredrikstad I'm uncertain about their new coach, their new players, and their existing players. I'm afraid that this could be a bad season for them.
Sandefjord reached the cup final last season, and shocked the league with some awesome performances. I think the steam may have run out by now. They actually seem to have a stronger team than last season, and their coach is outstanding, but....fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. I don't think the other top league teams will fall for Sandefjord's tactics as easily as they did last season.
Odd Grenland has survived many seasons now, and start this one with pretty much the same squad, including stars Svindal Larsen and Nilsson. However, they've been slipping closer and closer to the edge for years, and now they also seem to be fighting amongst themselves. I think they have run out of line now, and will go down.