The hosts nearly ended their long winless streak in shock circumstances last week, pushing Molde all the way. Eventually, they managed to obtain a 2-2 draw but for a while it looked like they might pick up an unlikely three points. Start haven’t won a Tippeligaen match for over a year and well over 30 matches now. But they are fighting very hard at the moment and it’s clear they are putting forth a lot of effort into games. I like the team spirit that Start are showing, and in attacking midfielder Nwakali they actually have an individual who has a bit of quality about him. Sadly, he’s suspended here though. Sooner or later Start will surely end their horrible run and this is one of the best chances they’ll get. I fully expect the hosts to throw the kitchen sink at Valerenga here.
The Oslo club have struggled all season. Off the field everyone knows Ronny Deila will be taking over at the start of 2017, but will he be in charge of a Tippeligaen club? He should be, but the way VIF are going there’s no guarantee they’ll survive! ‘Enga are winless in seven matches and find themselves second bottom of the table with only three wins and ten losses to their name this campaign. They’ve had problems all over the field and with Deshorn Brown now left the club, perhaps lack a focal point upfront who can convert chances. In their last away game they even allowed Brann to score four times which is rather worrying against a team not renowned for its ability in front of goal. Valerenga have to see this match as a ‘must win’ and if they lost it then Kjetil Rekdal might be relieved of his duties earlier than expected.
Conclusion & betting analysis
This is a basement battle between bottom and second bottom of the table. This reminds me of the Start v Bodo Glimt match a few weeks ago which eventually ended 1-4. I have personally always had a theory that when two poor teams face each other both usually ‘fancy’ themselves getting the victory. Neither side has any real concern about playing negatively because it’s the sort of fixture in which to push for victory. Especially at this stage of the season I think both teams will really see this as a must win. If Start got three points they’d be back in the race to avoid relegation, whilst Valerenga will feel like they need to cash in against a team like Start. I’m not sure which way this will go because both are pretty crap. But I think there will be goals in an end to end contest. I just don't see it being a tight encounter; it makes sense for both to ‘go for it’. In this sort of fixture I’m always happy to go with the overs and the line is set at 2.75. I think there’s a good chance this bet will at least half win and should cover fully if the game is as open as I anticipate.
Recommended bet: Over 2.75 goals @ 1.99 (minimum price acceptable 1.80)