Viking vs Dynamo Moscow by 20Legend
Viking has always been the team that is just not good enough in order to live up to the high expectations they set themselves before each seasons. A lot of money has been spend in the earlier years, but it has not paid off at all. Last season was therefore a highlight as far as they managed to keep their key-players. The selling of Veton Berisha last season midway through the season was not ideal for them, but they still managed ti finish in 5th place, with only four points up to the 2nd place. They have picked up some interesting signings before this season as well as the playmaker Abdisalam Ibrahim (former Stromsgodset/Olympiakos/PAE Veria) is probably the most exciting one for them. Other signings worth mentioning could be Michael Haukas from Haugesund and Claes Kronberg from Sarpsborg 08.
Viking has played some local club friendlies already, but with not great success (2-0-2). Their two wins came against Vidar (3-1) from 2nd Division and Bryne (4-1) from 1st Division. However, their losses came against fellow competitors from Tippeligaen against Start (2-1) and Haugseund (1-4). The level should be up another notch against the Russians today, so Viking must really be on their toes if they want to win.
Dynamo Moscow has already played some matches now and they have been acclimatized in Spain by playing matches there. They have had some various results in total since the Russian league- break, with 3-3-1 as a result against various opponents and level of competition. Their last match in Spain was against another Norwegian team as Stromsgodset managed a 1-1 result. It was a rather close game with a lot of substitutions, but Dynamo Moskow was the natural favorites and took an early lead after nine minutes. The game continued without too many great chances and it looked like the Russian team was going to take a narrow 0-1 win. However, a youngster by the name Mathias Berg Gjerstrom showed coolness despite his age of 18 as he eased the ball passed the goalkeeper in overtime which made the result 1-1.
Their team has been through a big transformation after violating the economic fair play rules. That forced the club to get rid of players like Kevin Kuranyi and Mathieu Valbuena while their coach Stanislav Cherchesov got his contract terminated. They also had to sell two of their biggest names in Yuri Zhirkov and top scorer Alexandr Kokorin to Zenit in the last transfer window in January. However the team now consists of some players with routine and many talented youngsters from Russia. Sebastian Holmen (former Elfsborg) and Fatos Beciraj from Montenegro, Christopher Samba (former Blackburn), Igor Denisov and Pavel Pogrebnnjak (former Reading) are names that gives the team an extra edge after all. However, Samba has been troubling with a neck-injury this season and will not play today. Their last lineup against Stromsgodset was like this:
(4-2-3-1): Vladimir Gabulov – Aleksei Kozlov, Tomas Hubocan, Vitali Dyakov, Grigory Morozov – Igor Denisov, Roman Zobnin – Aleksei Ionov, Anton Sosnin, Aleksander Tashaev – Pavel Pogrebnjak
It will be interesting to see how Viking will managed to deal with Dynamo Moscow after just arriving from snowy Norway to sunny Marbella in Spain, while the Russians has been there for some days now. Viking has an interesting squad, but it will be exciting to see how they are able to handle their opponents this season after the positive 5th place last season. Dynamo Moscow has only one loss so far, while Viking has not given any solid impression against opponents that they should beat normally. However, it is important to remember the fact that this is a club friendly, but I expect Dynamo Moscow to continue their winning form against a Norwegian team that has to settle to the sunny weather as well.