Norway Eliteserien – Start v Sandefjord Preview (2/4/18)

Match Preview

Both teams have only played one match each so far this season, back on the opening day three weeks go. One team looked great, whilst the other was awful. Start got off to the ‘perfect start’ by beating Tromso 4-1 and they were especially impressive going forward in that game. Manager Mark Dempsey clearly has a good thing going here and they are certainly a dark horse to well this season. Start have a few injuries on their plate, but mostly to non-starters and 10 of the 11 who were in the XI vs Tromso should all feature again here. This is a good chance to pick up another win against a Sandefjord side who have not had a great 2018 so far.

There were some concerns pre season about their form and new change of manager. That all reared up its ugly head when they got hammered 5-0 by Molde on the opening day. That was facing a good quality side though and this won't be quite so much of a tough test. Sandefjord have recruited a couple of new players since they last played and one of them, Moa Ofkir will probably play some part today. The visitors should be improved after having three weeks to try and solve their problems, but until we see evidence on the actual field it’s very easy to be concerned about them.

A lot of Sandefjord’s success both getting them to, and keeping them in the Eliteserien was thanks to ex coach Lars Bohinen and his coaching staff. For me, I really never liked the appointment of Magnus Powell in January, not because he is a poor manager but because his style is much different. Suddenly, either he or the players are going to change something from what they are used to. In time, they might get it to work and maybe they can be surprisingly good here today. But right now I have to rate Start as the better team. In fact, the hosts might be even good enough to knock on the door of the top six this season. Even if Sandefjord were playing well, I’d still say Start would have too much. I’m backing Mark Dempsey’s men to prevail today and a -0.75 handicap seems reasonable. According to my estimations the correct and fair line is probably closer to -1, so this offers some value. This could be an over 2.5 match as well, and there is a temptation to bet that in addition. But I don't want to potentially rely on Sandefjord scoring to cover the line.

Prediction: 3-1

Recommended bet 1 unit: Start -0.75 @1.96

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