Tippeligaen – Start v Odd Preview (7/8/16)

START-ODD

Start preview

There’s not a lot else I can write differently about Start anymore. They haven’t won a Tippeligaen game in god knows how long, are rock bottom of the table and appear to have no hope of surviving. They must surely be already preparing for life in the OBOS-Ligaen next season because they are currently eleven points adrift of the nearest safe position. Start have at least looked somewhat motivated in recent times. One senses they’d dearly love to end this record winless streak which has stretched for well over a year now. Some new signings have been added to the squad, with striker Dennis Antwi an interesting proposition from second division Jerv. Start aren’t playing that badly in patches, but it’s impossible for them to produce a complete 90 minutes. They also regularly commit basic errors, which costs them matches. Their home record is actually worse than on the road. Statistically they read 0-3-6 here, with 8-24 goals for/conceded. Midfielder Gudmundur Kristjansson is injured but everyone else is available for selection.

Odd preview

At the time of writing, much uncertainty surrounds the Odd squad for today’s game. One thing we do know is that key midfielder Jone Samuelsen is suspended. Left back Thomas Grogard, midfielder Fredrik Nordkvelle, and the attacking duo of Olivier Occean & Rafik Zekhnini are all rated doubtful. Winger and key man Bentley has also been ill of late, in addition to wanting away from the club. These days there’s always some doubts surrounding him as well. If you are thinking about betting on Odd here then I’d strongly suggest you have a look at their official line up before the game starts. For most of the season Fagermo’s men were the nearest challengers to Rosenborg. They are still second but have dropped a lot of points in their last three games. Something isn’t quite right at the club and the atmosphere is a bit negative. Getting knocked out of Europe didn’t help matters either and the constant run of games had a tough effect physically on the players.

Conclusion & betting analysis

If Odd were at full strength, in good form and everything rosy in their garden then backing the visitors on some sort of handicap, in addition to overs would probably be obvious bets. But we don’t know the exact makeup of the Odd XI, it might be significantly weaker due to injuries. I just have a feeling everything isn’t right within their camp at the moment either. They are in a dodgy patch and morale is a little low. Even at half strength you could argue they’ll have too much for Start, but there’s no guarantee. There’s enough to put me off backing Odd around the 1.65 range and I have no interest backing the -0.75 handicap either. A lot of recent Start games have ended over 2.5 at home. But again, due to the potential Odd absences in the final third, I feel this is best swerved too. I’d say the most likely outcome is a 0-1 or 0-2 away win. But maybe, just maybe if Start could deliver a decent performance then this might be a chance for them to pick up a rare draw, or even a victory. I’ll leave this one alone. In truth, I don’t expect it to be much of a spectacle.

Prediction: 0-1
Recommended bet: None

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