FKH responded to the unfortunate resignation of Mark Dempsey in extremely positive fashion by beating local rivals Viking 4-1. However, the honeymoon for new coach Andrea Roberto didn’t last very long. They went and lost 6-0 at Rosenborg last week, a really awful result facing the champions who even rested some players. It may well prove to be an anomaly and in the long run it doesn't really matter. Most sides lose to Rosenborg so it’s not like they’ll lose much ground up. This is a more manageable fixture and Haugesund remain fifth in the table so the feeling is still good here. Losing 0-6 isn’t nice but it’s quite possible everyone would forget about it quickly. FKH have been playing some nice football this season in a 3-5-2 formation and have yet to suffer defeat in front of their own fans. Left midfielder Alexander Stolas is suspended, but they welcome back the key midfield duo of Kiss and Hajradinovic who were both banned last week.
It looked like Sogndal were going to lose their long unbeaten record last week when they fell behind 0-2 against Bodo Glimt. But they managed to come back and rescue a draw, which now extends their stretch to 10 without defeat. It’s quite remarkable that Sogndal have drawn 8 of their 17 games, which is a really high % for the Tippeligaen. They are a good team and manager Eirik Bakke has built a nice atmosphere. Team spirit is strong and everyone is playing with freedom and confidence. Situated well above the relegation zone right now, there's no real pressure on this side. Striker Martin Ramsland is suspended, but he’s hardly been prolific, scoring just twice all year. It means arguably a better player, Mahatma Otoo will get the nod upfront.
Conclusion & betting analysis
Both sides have been involved in some high scoring matches really and over 2.75 (or over 2.5) goals looks like a good bet. Haugesund have been pretty offensive minded all year but their defence can be shaky, as last weekend proved. Perhaps there’s a slight danger the coach will focus on the defensive part of their game in approach to this match, but they are only playing Sogndal and will fancy their chances of victory. The visitors started off life as a low scoring team but have gradually developed their confidence going forwards. I’m surprised the bookies are offering such juicy odds here and I can’t help think this price is based on reputation rather than recent form and style.
Recommended bet 1 unit: Over 2.75 goals @ 2.08 (minimum odds acceptable 1.85)