Tippeligaen – Lillestrom v Haugesund Preview (20/8/16)

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Lillestrom preview

LSK haven’t played well since the summer break, picking up just 4 points out of a possible 21. As a result, they are hovering dangerously above the relegation zone, only a couple of points safe of danger. Last week they managed to draw 1-1 away at Bodo Glimt and actually defended fairly well for once. But that was facing poor opposition and another side in fairly bad form. It was a nervous encounter and Lillestrom as a whole weren’t particularly impressive. I’m not sure exactly what’s gone wrong since the summer break but they’ve looked well below par. Losing Fred Friday to AZ Alkmaar was a blow and their new signings in this window don’t look much so far. Team news is favourable today with only left back Rindaroy doubtful. Lillestrom are historically strong at home but have now lost 4 of their last 5 in front of their own fans.

Haugesund preview

FKH went through a slightly dodgy period, with the 6-0 demolition at Rosenborg the lowest point of their season. But they’ve bounced back strongly thanks to a couple of wins against Stabaek & Tromso respectively. Haugesund have played well in those two games as well, showing good strengths all over the field. They are missing key captain and centre back William Troost Ekong to the Olympic games, but the rest of the squad looks set to be in good condition. The visitors are still playing in a 3-5-2 formation which was implemented by Mark Dempsey and it sets them apart in this league tactically. This is a system that clearly works for the players and it’s delivered them four away wins so far this season. They will certainly be eyeing this up as another potential three points.

Conclusion & betting analysis

I have been struggling in this league recently and I will only be betting on really strong confidence picks in the next few weeks. This certainly isn’t a match where I have a strong opinion. I would personally have Haugesund as favourites. Right now they are the better team and can approach the game with no pressure on their shoulders. Lillestrom have shown little sign of playing well after the summer break, but are starting to get into a position where they are fighting for their lives. If they dig in and show some passion like they did at times last weekend then maybe they can achieve something. I think it’d be hard for anyone to have much confidence in the hosts -0.25. If I was to have a bet it’d be on the visitors +0.25. The goal line is set to over 2.75 and this looks about fair. I am very cautious about backing overs in Haugesund games now because you never know when they will produce one of their more solid defensive displays like they did at Stabaek. I’ll predict an away win but I’m not sure here so it makes sense to leave the game alone.

Prediction: 1-2
Recommended bet: None

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