Norway Eliteserien – Valerenga v Lillestrom Preview (24/6/17)

 

Match Preview

The first thing to mention about this match is that it’s a big Oslo derby between two fierce rivals who hate each other. For these sort of games the formbook can sometimes be torn up completely, although on this occasion both teams are in relatively good knick. Valerenga are still very much a work in progress under Ronny Deila and we probably won’t see the desired results he wants until year 2 or 3 of his reign. However, VIF are a nice possession team who like to play football in an attractive way so he is clearly making his mark on the team. Sometimes I think they need to be more direct, but just 1 loss in 7 games is a pretty good run of form.

Lillestrom suffered a disastrous start to the campaign but they head into this match on the back of three straight wins and they look a completely different side at the moment. Dinosaur manager Arne Erlandsen made some tactical and personnel changes which have made a massive difference. Now that Lillestrom are converting chances they are starting to pick up a lot more points. They are hit hard by the suspension of Erling Knudtzon today though. He’s been one of the major reasons their form has improved. Since he moved upfront, the goals have flowed and they’ve looked much more dangerous. Now the big and ineffective units like Malec and Skoda will be in line to replace him and neither are very good.

It’s true that I don’t rate Lillestrom particularly highly and I have been ‘low’ on them all season. Sometimes this has cost me and I will admit they have improved, but in my opinion Valerenga are clearly the better side on display today. They missed key duo Ghayas Zahid and Robert Lundstrom to suspension against Godset last week, but both return here. Combine that with the Knudtzon suspension and I think the hosts deserve to be a strong odds-on price to win today. This is a derby match, so there should be a slight element of caution, but taking VIF on a -0.25 handicap makes sense to me. I believe there is at least one line of full value here, possibly more. I doubt this will be an easy win and with derby games anything is possible. I think the value is all on the home team though and they are too much of a juicy price to refuse here in my opinion.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet 1 unit: Valerenga -0.25 @1.90 (minimum odds acceptable 1.60)

 

 

Player importance explanation: K =Key, X =Regular XI starter, B = Bench player

 

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