With a little over a third of the 27-game season complete, the battle for the Faroese Premier Division title has become a contest between two capital clubs who share the same stadium, HB Tórshavn and fellow unbeaten rivals B36 Tórshavn.
After five wins in their last six matches helped B36 finish third in 2013, questions were posed as to whether they could build on that position this year following the departure of high-profile players Súni Olsen, Gilli Sørensen and Ivorian Evrard Blé.
The answer, though, seems to be a definite yes. After 11 rounds, B36 lead the table by two points from champions HB and have been exponents of the most attractive, free-flowing football in the ten-team division.
Central to that has been the form of Nigerian forward Adeshina Lawal, Polish striker Łukasz Cieślewicz, Róaldur Jakobsen and Jákup Borg, who, with six goals this term, is only four short of surpassing former team-mate John Petersen's Faroese record of 146 top-flight strikes. Of B36's 26 league goals in 2014, 20 have been scored by this quartet.
The pre-season fear that B36's relatively inexperienced rearguard could be their Achilles' heel has also proven unfounded, with coach Sámal Erik Hentze, who guided HB to the championship in 2009, saying he has "about the best defence in the country". B36 have conceded three goals more than HB's frugal total of nine.
"When they [the defenders] have the ball, they always have the option to play it – that's what they are good at," he said. "And they never come under pressure because they always have the chance to play the ball, that's what's most important."
To compensate for the loss of some key midfielders before the campaign began on 15 March, B36 persuaded their former captain Klæmint Matras to come out of retirement 18 months after he made the last of his 300-plus appearances for the club.
"In Klæmint we have a player who takes others by the hand," said Hentze of the 33-year-old's leadership qualities. "He's got the experience and knows what he's talking about. It's very important that everybody absorbs it when Klæmint takes time to share some of his experience."
Although their loss column in the table still has a '0' in it, B36 were reminded of the concentration levels required to stay the course when they were held 1-1 at home on Sunday by lowly AB Argir, the team Hentze had coached for the last four years.
"I don't know if it's because we have had some good victories away from home and think that it's not necessary to work as hard because we have a home match, but we know it's vital we are ready for every occasion," explained Hentze.
B36 play another struggling side, Skála Ítróttarfelag, on Monday and meet HB for the second time this term on 22 June.
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