Norway Eliteserien – Sarpsborg v Vålerenga Preview (16/9/19)

Match Preview

Two teams in poor form meet at the Sarpsborg Stadium where both will be desperate to win. There is every chance that Sarpsborg could enter this match bottom of the Eliteserien table. Geir Bakke’s men have only won a measly two games all season in the league, the last of which was way back on 16th June, exactly 3 months ago! This is a team that is severely underachieving this season and everyone is waiting for them to wake up and find some form again. On paper they certainly have enough ability to be doing far better, It’s a complete mystery what’s going wrong. It certainly looked like Sarpsborg would end their winless streak against Viking last time out, but they blew a 2-0 lead with only 5 mins left! The team haven’t necessarily been playing badly but are finding it extremely difficult to grind out a full 3 points. 

Facing them in this Monday night clash are a Vålerenga outfit winless in five games. Things were looking good for VIF prior to the summer break but they came back playing some horrible football. I think manager Ronny Deila really needs to carry some of the blame because this team should be producing much better results than they’ve shown. Losing key playmaker Chidi Ejuke was a blow and perhaps he was even more important to them than most people could imagine. But there is more than enough ability in this squad to be beating teams such as Stabaek, Kristiansund & Haugesund, all of whom ‘Enga have dropped points against recently. Maybe the international break did them some good but I didn’t like what I saw from VIF in the weeks leading up to it. On the road Ronny Deila’s men have only won 2 times out of 10 this year which doesn’t exactly exert much confidence heading into this game

Neither team is making much of a case to win here. Incredibly, Sarpsborg are odds-on favourites with the bookies around the 1.95 mark. Who on earth could risk backing them on a -0.5 Asian Handicap? I am not saying that Sarpsborg won’t win here, and in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if they did. But we are talking about a team that’s only won TWO times in 20 matches this year, how can Geir Bakke’s men be trusted? My preferred bet is to take over 2.75 goals. Sarpsborg have only kept two clean sheets all season, whilst VIF have looked vulnerable defensively since the resumption of the summer break. It might be that both teams look to their attack forces in order to score their way out of trouble. Despite confidence being low each outfit will probably see this match as a good chance to pick up 3 points, so they’ll probably go for it. Over 2.75 goals is generously priced and the only real scoreline that looks like a danger is 1-1.

Prediction:  3-1

Recommended bet: Over 2.75 goals @2.06