It is all set for another local derby in the Norwegian Cup (NM) when Levanger welcomes big brother Rosenborg to Moan Stadium tonight.
Levanger has had a rather tough meeting with the level in OBOS- Ligaen so far after their promotion from 2nd Division last season. However, they managed to get some strong results in the last part of April and the start of May. Their recent five games have not been so good though with only 1-1-3 to show for. The win against Brann (4-1) on May 26th was mostly because of personal mistakes among the Brann-players rather than pure class by Levanger, and they quickly got down to earth in the last game against Jerv (4-2). Despite the tendency of losing matches quite often these days, they have managed to score more goals which have made some of their opponents work hard for the three points. They have managed very well despite their easy opponents in the cup so far. They beat Neset (0-5) from 3rd Division in the first round, while they had no problem against Rodde (4-1) from 2nd Division either. Defender Tom Erik Nordberg (11/0) is injured after he received a concussion against Jerv in their last match. Defender Espen Hammer Berger (11/0) is expected to take his place. Defender Per Verner Ronning (11/0) has been dealing with some illness lately, but is expected to play. Defender Rikard Nilsson (7/0) will be tested closer towards kick-off.
Rosenborg has impressed a lot this season as they are on top of the league in Tippeligaen so far. Their dominant results so far have been credited a lot to the positive chemistry and combination of players that the manager Kaare Ingerbrigtsen has matched together. Both experts and fans are delighted to see the positive and offensive mentality that was the description when Rosenborg was at their prime during the 1990’s and early 2000’s. However, they got down to earth with a quite terrible performance against bottom team Tromso (1-1) in their last match. It was a game that Rosenborg dominated in terms of play and created the most chances, but did not succeed getting the ball in the net more than just once. They also let Tromso on dangerous counter-attacks where Rosenborg’ defense lost control on several occasions, which also led to the 1-1 goal. It was definitely a wake-up-call for them and they will need it tonight as well as everyone wants to beat them in every match. They have taken the cup seriously so far even if they only beat Vuku (0-3) from 4th Division by a three goal margin in the first round. They did a lot better in round 2 against Floya (0-6) from 3rd Division. Rosenborg is coming to this match with all their best players available, with only the young midfielder Jon Hou Saeter (0/0) missing with illness. The important winger Pal Andre Helland (6/6) is back and included in the squad after missing the game against Tromso during his red card suspension.
This will be an interesting match to watch as this derby will make a lot of people meeting up at the game, creating the excitement that the cup in Norway is known for. Levanger has nothing to lose as they already have the stamp as the underdog, while it will be another chance for Rosenborg to start with some unregular players with eager to show their capabilities. Rosenborg is also having a huge match against Valerenga on Saturday which probably means that not all the regular players will play 90 minutes tonight. There is no doubt that Rosenborg should winning with around 3-4 goals, but I think that Levanger will get their chances as well. When taking Rosenborg’s performance against Tromso, the derby-factor and Levanger’s motivation to show their capability in front of a packed Stadium into a closer consideration, it is not unlikely that Levanger will make the score sheet here. Both teams to score is a interesting scenario.
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