Norway Eliteserien – Valerenga v Stromsgodset Preview (7/4/18)

Match Preview

Valerenga came crashing back down to earth against Sarpsborg last week, losing 0-3. However, we have to remember they were facing a very good side, so in many ways I don’t think VIF should be downgraded too much. Prior to that loss, Ronny Deila’s men had actually been very impressive in their first two games and we can’t forget that. Ok, they only beat KBK and Odd, but neither of those teams are that bad and I have to wonder if Stromsgodset will be any better today. The season may be only two games old for the men from Drammen, but for me there are already some worrying signs.

On the opening day they were fortunate to avoid defeat to Stabaek at home and it was concerning how many chances they conceded. Since then, Stabaek have gone and lost to Ranheim which hardly bodes well for the formbook. Even more concerning was how poor Godset looked against Brann last week. They hardly created a big chance of note and only scored via a freak own goal. Of course, missing two key men Eirik Ulland Andersen and Bassel Jradi hardly helped matters. This attacking duo is probably worth more to their team in this league than any other pairing I can think of.

There are doubts whether either will suit up again here. Andersen is coming off surgery and even if he does play some part I can’t see how he'll be anywhere near ready. Jradi meanwhile, has been suffering with a respiratory problem and again, I just can’t see how he will be operating anywhere near his best. Without those two at peak fitness, (or even not around at all) then I have to give the edge to Valerenga. They have generally looked good this year and with the likes of Ejuke and Sam Johnson ready to wreak havoc I think they can get the three points. Godset may well be toothless and don't have a great away record in the last few years anyway. I am happy to back ‘Enga on a -0.25 handicap in what I don’t think will be a particularly inspiring game. There could also be some value on the under if Godset are as poor offensively as they were last week.

Prediction: 2-0

Recommended bet 1 unit: Valerenga -0.25 @1.80

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