2017_02_ahdsc_9943_jpg

style="font-weight: 400;">Having suffered relegation from the Eliteserien on the last day of the 2016 season, Bodo/Glimt will be looking to make an instant return to Norway’s top tier. They will be competing in a tougher than usual OBOS Ligaen with sides such as Sandnes, Start, Fredrikstad and Jerv all looking to achieve promotion. Will Glimt be strong enough to overcome these challenges and end the season as champions?

>

(Photo: Digitalsport)

style="font-weight: 400;">I was very surprised to see Glimt relegated last season. The squad should have been more than capable of staying in the Eliteserien but under performed when it really mattered. After the relegation I was fully expecting a gutting of the teams’ key players to take place but as of yet this has not happened, meaning Glimt go into the 2017 season with a lot of their 2016 squad still intact.

>

style="font-weight: 400;">The main loss since last season has been key forward Fitim Azemi, who joined Israeli side Maccabi Haifa. Apart from this transfer, Glimt have managed to hold onto many of their main assets such as Trond Olsen, Mathias Normann and Brede Moe. The transfer window is still open in Norway, but all three look to be staying with the OBOS Ligaen side.

>

style="font-weight: 400;">Glimt have impressed me thus far in the market. The signing of Kristian Fardal Opseth is a clever one; the striker may not have impressed during his two stints in the Eliteserien but was outstanding for Sogndal in 2015. Opseth looks to be someone who will flourish at this level and should go a long way to replace the goals lost by selling Azemi.

>

style="font-weight: 400;">As well as Opseth, Glimt have signed up Marius Lode from Bryne and Nemanja Mladenovic from Metalac. Both seem to be solid signings, with Mladenovic especially looking to impress having played in Serbia’s top tier previously. Glimt certainly look strong on paper, in this piece I will pick apart each area of the pitch for the side and try to determine whether they are capable of going straight back up to the Eliteserien.

>

Goalkeepers

style="font-weight: 400;">An area in which Glimt still need some improvement. Simon Thomas is an excellent number 1, but the side need to bring in a new number 2 who is capable of filling in for Thomas whenever the Canadian is absent. Thomas was my Goalkeeper of the year in 2015 and his performances for Strommen were a big reason as to why the side stayed in the OBOS Ligaen that season. Having gotten a taste of Eliteserien football the Canadian international should now be ready to assert himself as the side's number 1 choice in goal.

>

style="font-weight: 400;">Glimt had invited former Bryne goalkeeper Ante Knezovic on trial in February but were reportedly less than satisfied with what they saw. There is a real lack of goalkeeping talent in Norway at the moment so Glimt may struggle to find a suitable backup for Thomas.

>

Defenders

style="font-weight: 400;">Whilst the defence may not be considered as the strongest part of the field for Glimt, there are certainly some talented players in the back 4 who are more than capable of shining in the 2017 OBOS Ligaen season. Martin Bjornbakk and Brede Moe would be one of the most formidable centre half pairings in the league but for Moe’s injury which could see him miss a significant portion of the season.

>

style="font-weight: 400;">Marius Lode has been signed from Bryne to fill in and should be more than capable of deputising until Moe is fit. Lode missed the majority of the 2016 season through a drugs ban, having taken the banned substance Ritalin before an exam in 2015, but looked fresh when he returned for Bryne. Lode is a smart centre back who uses his pace well to recover the ball from opposition players. 

>

style="font-weight: 400;">In terms of the full backs, Emil Jonassen and Daniel Edvardsen will be solid players at this level. Fredrik Bjorkan is also likely to get more game time this season, the youngster is extremely highly rated within the club.

>

Midfielders

style="font-weight: 400;">The stand out player in Glimt’s midfield is of course Mathias Normann. The 20 year old had his first team breakthrough last season and was extremely impressive. Rosenborg have been sniffing around the player all Winter but as of yet there has been no concrete offer from the Trondheim side for Normann’s services. Keeping Normann for this season could prove to be invaluable for Glimt, the side benefit massively from the midfielders technique and aggression.

>

style="font-weight: 400;">Aside from Normann, Patrick Berg and Morten Konradsen are two players worth keeping an eye on this year. Berg is just 19 and found himself playing regularly in the second half of last season, he could well make himself a fixture in the Glimt XI this year and raise his stock even higher.

>

style="font-weight: 400;">As for Konradsen, if kept fit, the 20 year old could well become one of the leagues’ best players come the end of the year. Konradsen is extremely talented but has been hampered by horrific injuries of late, Glimt will be hoping he can stay fit and nail down a spot in the teams’ midfield trio.

>

Attackers

style="font-weight: 400;">The strongest part of the pitch for Glimt. Trond Olsen and Kristian Opseth should dominate games for the side, both are more than capable of scoring 15 or more goals next season.

>

style="font-weight: 400;">Whilst these two players will surely stand out, a lot of my interest will be on players such as Jens Petter Hauge and Joachim Osvold. Hauge is just 17 years old and broke into the first team last season, his talent is undeniable and he will surely get more opportunities to start games for Glimt in the OBOS Ligaen. He will likely fight Nemanja Mladenovic for a spot on the wing in Glimt's 4-3-3 formation.

>

style="font-weight: 400;">Osvold is 22 years old now and has had a strange career that has seen him go from Norway to Finland, then to Germany and then back to Norway. Osvold is a talented forward who like Hauge should get more opportunities for the side at this level. Whether or not Osvold will take these opportunities is another matter entirely as usurping Opseth to claim a spot as Glimt's main striker will be extremely tough.

>

Conclusion

style="font-weight: 400;">I would be very surprised if anyone other than Bodo/Glimt were named OBOS Ligaen champions in 2017. The side is generally strong all round and despite still needing one or two more reinforcements, the starting XI is clearly the strongest in the league in my opinion.

>

style="font-weight: 400;">Last season was quite tight at the top with Kristiansund, Sandefjord and Jerv all gunning for promotion but I can see Glimt creating a large gap from 1st to 2nd place come next November. Players such as Normann, Bjornbakk, Olsen and Opseth are what set Glimt apart from their rivals, they have players in their team who can make the difference in those often tight games that could end up swinging in either sides favour.

>

style="font-weight: 400;">It has to be said too that taking Kjetil Knutsen on as Assistant Manager could also prove to be a masterstroke. Knutsen has great man management skills and has already calmed the atmosphere in Glimt after their relegation last season. 

>

Despite rumours of quarrels behind the scenes, Glimt have only lost once in pre-season so far to the powerful CSKA Moscow whilst the sides’ win over Molde on the 17th February went a long way to show how talented this side really is. I am really excited to see how well Glimt will do this season and simply can’t look past them as champions elect.

100% opp til 500 NOK

1. Casino Winner

100% opp til 1000 NOK

2. Guts

100% opp til 1000 NOK

3. Rizk

200% opp til 1000 NOK

4. Unibet

500% opp til 500 NOK

5. ComeOn

100% opp til 1000 NOK

6. Betway

Sponset innhold | Regler og vilkår gjelder | 18+ | Bonus kun for nye kunder