Tippeligaen – Viking v Rosenborg Preview (11/8/16)

VIK-RBK

Viking preview

The hosts returned to winning ways on Sunday thanks to a 2-1 success away at Sogndal. Viking were much improved in that game and it was their best performance for a while. Incredibly, it was their sixth away win of the season and they've been excellent on the road in 2016. The Stavanger outfit actually have one of the poorest home records in the Tippeligaen, although have played here less than anyone else. Even last week they lost in a friendly against Arsenal 0-8, and Viking Stadion has in general been a bad place for them this season. My personal feeling is that they've yet to really get over the losses of centre back AJ Soares & striker Suleiman Abdullahi. The latter especially was a big part of their attack and in general Viking have misfired in front of goal this year. They lack good finishers and there isn’t really a sense of fear about their frontline at the moment. Another player departed the club this week, midfielder/defender Joackim Jorgensen. Abdisalam Ibrahim (CM) is suspended for tonight's match.

Rosenborg preview

The champions were involved in a remarkable game of football at the weekend. They played some lovely football to go 4-0 up on Lillestrom, but completely switched off in the second half. They let LSK come within a goal of them and the final scoreline was 4-3. Rosenborg have had a hectic schedule in recent times and maybe the second half there was a combination of things. But at the end of the day they still won the game and maybe the fright would’ve done them so good. A win in this match would put them nine points clear of their nearest challengers. It would perhaps build and insurmountable advantage on the rest of the pack. RBK haven't lost since the opening day of the season, although if they do have a slight achilles heel then it is on the road. They've dropped some surprising points away from home only winning 4/9 contests. The victory at Lillestrom snapped a three game drawing streak on their travels. Despite being involved in a lot of recent matches, the manager has rotated the squad well and kept most key players in fresh condition. Injuries have been few and far between for the champions in 2016.

Conclusion & betting analysis

This is a rare example in Norway of both teams having a ‘game in hand’ It was originally scheduled a few weeks ago, but the Norwegian FA decided to allow Rosenborg a whole week to prepare for their champions league qualifying match in Cyprus against APOEL. There was a little bit of controversy about postponing this fixture, especially as it was fairly last minute. It definitely suits Rosenborg to be playing the encounter now. They've had a nice five day rest since the Lillestrom game and only have an easier looking match at home to Sogndal on Sunday to worry about. Viking are a club with financial problems, hence why they've had to get rid of so many players this summer. Guys like AJ Soares, Abdullahi & Jorgensen have yet to be replaced properly. They definitely lack centre back options for tonight and missing Ibrahim in midfield will be a blow too. I don’t think this will be a classic or particularly exciting match but I think Rosenborg will ultimately claim a comfortable win. They are much the better side and have a great recent record against Viking. The last time they lost to the Stavanger outfit was way back in 2015! RBK have won the last four H2Hs between the two sides. Mentally, Viking may well be beaten before this match has even started. There’s just not enough about the hosts which makes me think they can cause too many problems to RBK. The only real danger scoreline is 0-0 or 1-1 if Viking somehow managed to score from a set piece or something. RBK can be backed @ 1.82 just to win the game, and I think this is a good price. They just have superior class all over the field and this looks set to be a good time to face a Viking side who are only a mediocre midtable outfit IMO.

Prediction:0-2
Recommended bet: Rosenborg -0.5 @ 1.82 (minimum odds acceptable 1.65)

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