Tippeligaen – Haugesund v Brann Preview (27/8/16)

FKH-BRANN

Haugesund preview

FKH have bounced back well following a small sticky period. They should have won their last three consecutive games but conceded late on at Lillestrom last week and were held to a 1-1 draw. Performance wise, Haugesund have been playing well though and have recently switched to a more conventional formation after using a 3-5-2 for most of the year. Currently residing in fifth spot, a victory would take them above Brann and potentially as high as third. The squad is in fine condition health wise, but they do miss key midfielder Filip Kiss to suspension. The two games he’s missed this season, Haugesund have lost them both, including the terrible 0-6 drubbing at the hands of Rosenborg. So I think they will lack something in the middle of the park without him, and that could be important against a solid team like Brann.

Brann preview

The Bergen outfit still reside in a medal position following a 1-1 draw against Rosenborg last week. Brann played well against the champions and deserved their point. This is a team that's been one of the big surprises in 2016 and excelled following their promotion. Brann are built on solid foundations, hard to break down and they work extremely hard. They are less effective on the road, but have still managed to pick up some decent away points this season. The attacking duo of Daniel Braaten & Deyver Vega are both rated doubtful for the contest. Brann are quite a predictable team and not a lot will change with their approach. Expect much of the same sort of solid tactics and committed performances.

Conclusion & betting analysis

West coast derby between two surprising teams of 2016. Both have been punching above their weight and it’s good to see someone like Haugesund & Brann doing well. The previous fixture between the two sides ended up a 1-0 Brann win and something similar is quite possible today. I think this will be a tight match in which both defences are generally on top. Brann games have been more open recently but their natural tendency is to defend strongly. From a betting point of view, not a lot interests me. I just don’t see an edge in any market and I’m happy to swerve the encounter. My feeling is for a lower scoring match, but maybe not a 0-0. Tough one really.

Prediction: 1-1
Recommended bet: None