Tippeligaen – Aalesund v Sarpsborg Preview (26/8/16)


Aalesund preview

The tricky times continue for Aalesund. Their back to back victories against Lillestrom and Tromso have been followed up by defeats. AFK are currently second bottom and on course for automatic relegation, they desperately need points to escape danger. On a positive note, striker Franck Boli returns from suspension, but captain BH Riise is banned. Aalesund really missed the presence of Boli upfront last week so at least they’ll be more dangerous going forwards. But make no mistake about it, AFK are one of the poorest teams in the Tippeligaen and can’t be relied upon in any circumstance at the moment. They are capable of sporadic good performances, but against a well drilled side like Sarpsborg, it could be a difficult night.

Sarpsborg preview

The visitors meanwhile are up to fifth in the table and hot on the heels of a medal position thanks to a 1-0 victory against Stromsgodset last week. The team from southern Norway are one of the most solid teams in the entire division and very hard to break down. Sarpsborg keep a lot of clean sheets and are one of the big under teams in this league. Team news is favourable with only left back/midfielder Alexander Groven still injured. The visitors have a good away record and will set out their stall to defend, whilst hoping to hit Aalesund on the break or from a set piece. They haven't lost to Aalesund in any of their last five meetings and will be confident of avoiding defeat again.

Conclusion & betting analysis

I would say a low scoring away win is the most likely outcome. Sarpsborg are the better team, didn't concede many goals and face a team who are struggling. AFK will have Boli back, but he’s hardly a prolific scorer and I’m personally never convinced with the Aalesund attack force. The bookies aren't exactly stupid though and offer the visitors only on a -0.25 handicap. This is probably fair, but with Aalesund fighting for their lives and Sarpsborg not exactly one of the ‘big’ teams then I’m happy to swerve them @ this price. Under 2.75 is a much more tempting option. I just don’t see how this match escalates into a high scorer. A much fairer line would be 2.5 or 2.25. However, this is Norway and I probably need to be sensible. All it takes is an early goal and any match is capable of exploding. My overall form in this league has been poor recently and I can only bet on outcomes I’m really confident about. If I was in better form I’d take under 2.75 because it looks like a bit of value. For those interested in a big priced value bet, then correct score 0-1 or 0-2 might be worth a go.

Prediction: 0-1
Recommended bet: None

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