Toppserien Week 10 Preview: Hectic title race resumes after two-week interval

After a short international break, we return to domestic action in Norway.

Toppserien Week 10 Preview: Hectic title race resumes after two-week interval
Pernille Velta (left) and Victoria Ludvigsen (right) have contributed seven of Stabæk's 19 goals this season. Will they still be smiling, and top of the standings, come Sunday evening? (Photo: Stabæk Fotball)

After the national team secured qualification to Euro 2017 during the international break, domestic action in Norway gets back underway this weekend, with the Toppserien's title race drawing all eyes.

Four teams are firmly in the running for top spot as we near the end of the first half of the season, one which has been exciting to say the least.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the standings, Urædd are still looking for their maiden win in 2016 - without even a point on the board this season yet. 

Four horse race - for now

Nine games in and no-one is letting up in the top four. Stabæk, Avaldsnes, Lillestrøm and Kolbotn are separated by only three points as they prepare to take the step into double figures for games played - apart from LSK that is, who have a game in hand over their rivals.

Therefore, the game of the round has got to be Kolbotn's hosting of Stabæk on Saturday as fourth welcome first.

After surprising defeats to Vålerenga and Sandviken, Kolbotn have picked up form again with wins over Røa and Medkila - which put them in the race for top spot. Meanwhile, Stabæk haven't tasted defeat since losing 2-0 to LSK, though they did play out a lacklustre 1-1 draw with Trondheims-Ørn a few weeks back.

Both teams have their weaknesses, that much is clear, and they will each look to exploit their opponents' soft spots in an intriguing clash this weekend.

Avaldsnes and LSK will be hoping for a home win in that clash, one that can help them move a lot closer to first place. The former are tied for points with Stabæk so will be particularly keen to see them slip up, while the latter can also leapfrog them if they don't emerge victorious.

Avaldsnes face a relatively straight forward task on Saturday, welcoming Arna-Bjørnar, but they could pose problems, having picked up form to lift them to fifth in recent weeks.

LSK, on the other hand, visit mid-table Sandviken in another game that shouldn't be too tricky, but could be if the away side aren't at their best. Their hosts are unbeaten in four and beat Kolbotn a few weeks ago.

Will LSK be able to propel themselves to top spot this week? (Photo: Støtt Norsk/Kvinnefotball)
Will LSK be able to propel themselves to top spot this week? (Photo: Støtt Norsk Kvinnefotball)

Big battle at the bottom - and one a little further up

At the opposite end of the table, there's a huge fixture in the form of Urædd's trip to Vålerenga too. The former are sat bottom of the standings, with no points to their name, while the latter are only third-bottom after one win and three draws.

A win for the visitors is what Medkila will be hoping for as, if they then beat Klepp on Sunday, they will move out of the relegation play-off spot.

Medkila currently sit second-bottom, with their only win all season coming against the side propping up the table. However, Klepp have struggled for form as of late - seeing them slump to eighth - and could certainly be beaten if they aren't at their best.

It's all to play for at both ends then, which is sure to make for a very interesting weekend of football.