What Should We Expect From Tromso?

Ruben Yttergård Jensen/TIL
Ruben Jensen will definitely be a threat to Paks' defence tonight

Tromso tonight are set to be Paks’ second ever opponent in Europe, but what should we expect from the team from Norway? Norweigan football expert, Arne Johnson investigates.

Tromso in Europe:

The first time Tromso entered the old UEFA cup was in 1997, where they beat Croatian side NK Zagreb in the first qualification round but in the next round, Chelsea stood in the way. In the wind and snow Tromso beat the English giants 3-2 in Norway, but lost 7-1 at Stamford Bridge sending them packing from Europe.

Tromso didn’t qualify for Europe again till 8 years later. This turned out to be a great campaign for ‘TIL’ as they beat Esbjerg in the qualification round after penalties and surprisingly beat Turkish giants Galatasaray 2-1 aggregate in the first round. TIL almost got through the group stage too after getting impressive results against Crvena Zvezda and AS Roma, but needing a win in the last game against Basel away, Tromso threw away a 3-1 lead to ultimately lose 4-3.

In Tromso’s last European campaign, TIL went out to Athletico Bilbao 4-3 on aggregate after wins over Dinamo Minsk and NK Slaven Belupo.

So far this season Tromso recorded two easy victories over Daugavapils which resulted in a 7-1 aggregate win, securing a place in the next round against Paks.

Tromso in Norway:

Since 2007, TIL have established themselves as one of the top teams in Norway, and haven’t finished below 6th place in the league including two third place finishes in 2008 and 2010.

Tromso haven’t won a trophy since the Norwegian cup in 1996, but are currently 2nd in the league, and are amongst the favourites to win the Tippilegan.

Style of play:

Tromso are an extremely well disciplined side. They have one of the meanest defences in Norway and very rarely concede more than two goals in a game. Along with a superb goalkeeper and a great pair of centre backs they also have a deep lying defensive midfielder who covers a lot of area and wins a lot of duels. Luxury players don’t exist in the team, as everyone is working for the side all the time. They also have a superb team spirit and never give up. The weak spot in the side is the speed of the centre backs and central midfielders. If Paks play with a lot of movement and pace while looking to get behind the Tromso defence, the Hungarian side could get a few goals.

Offensively, coach Hogmo likes to vary his side. Away from home, Tromso tends to play deep and will look to spring counter attacks. At home, most of the game is based on a playmaker in the central midfield and/or a creative left winger while also wanting the full backs to get forward at every possible opportunity.

Players To Watch:

Serigne Kara Mbodj just known as Kara is the deep lying midfielder in the Tromso side, a big strong Senegalese player who from the Patrick Vierias Diambars-academy. Kara covers a lot of area, wins duels both in the air and on the ground. He is strong in the tackle and scores goals as well. His weakness in passing, but he’ll definitely be a presence in the Tromso midfield.

Ruben Yttergaard Jensen is a Norwegian national team player. He is Tromso’s primary playmaker, who has superb vision and works very hard. He doesn`t score too many goals but creates a lot of chances for others with his great passing ability and threatening crosses.

Thomas Drage is really one to watch. The 19 year old left winger is a great talent who signed from a 3rd division club in 2010. He was really impressive at times last season and has progressed immensely over the past year. This season he has been amazing creative force with 6 assists and 2 goals in the league. He creates numerous chances and starts a lot of attacks with his great vision and quick feet & mind. However he’s not very physical and still struggles a bit in duels with strong players, where he tends to lose the ball.

Predicted XI: Malmkvist – Norbye, Ciss, Bjorck, Yndestad – Andersen, Kara, Jensen – Johansen, Abdellaoue, Drage

 

 

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