The first thing to be mentioned here is that Viking played on Thursday night against Rosenborg. They generally gave a good account of themselves, but succumbed 0-2 thanks to a couple of relatively late goals. Viking’s gameplan was to restrict RBK and for the most part they achieved that objective, but ultimately a bit of extra class was their undoing. The Stavanger side went through a sticky patch, but their last two performances have been better. I just wonder how much Thursday night has taken out of their legs though. Viking aren't the sort of team who are used to playing in midweek, let alone on the back of just three days rest. The whole squad is available for selection and one man who won't be tired is midfielder Abdi Ibrahim, who missed the RBK match because of suspension and will return here.
The visitors lost for the first time under Toni Ordinas last week, succumbing 0-1 at home to Haugesund. I have to say they were clearly second best in that encounter and this was surprising because Stabaek have looked much better under Ordinas since he took over. I think some credit must be given to their opponents, but also the fact that they were at home can’t be overlooked. Most of their best displays under the new coach have been on the road, where they seem more comfortable. Ordinas is clearly a smart tactician and loves taking on sides with his strong counter attacks. The big difference under Ordinas has been their threat upfront, but it wasn’t there last week and they struggled to create opportunities. For this match, midfielder Luc Kassi is suspended but everyone else should be available.
Conclusion & betting analysis
I’m willing to write off last week’s Stabaek loss as a ‘one off’ and actually credit Haugesund for playing well. I have noticed a distinct improvement under Ordinas and they probably would've lost 2 or 3 nil under old manager McKinlay. In away games, Stabaek have been dangerous and they more than matched Stromsgodset a couple of weeks ago at a very difficult location. The visitors have had a whole week to prepare for this contest and I’m sure will be highly motivated to hit back. Viking meanwhile, could be potentially flat. This is going to be their fourth game in 10 days if you include the friendly they had against Arsenal here and lost 0-8. You can’t help but feel they are a club mired by their off the field issues regarding finances and overall mood isn’t great. Their record at this stadium is terrible but I’m willing to back them +0.75. A victory might be beyond their reach but I think Stabaek can pick up a point at least and should be playing Viking at an ideal time.
Recommended bet: Stabaek +0.75 @ 1.85 (minimum odds acceptable 1.75)