Norway Eliteserien – Stabaek v Brann Preview (22/8/20)

Match Preview

Is there a more difficult team to predict in the Eliteserien than Stabaek? You never know which version of them you are going to get and even within the same match their persona seems to change. Last week they blew a 2-0 lead against Viking to fall behind, but then managed to scramble an equaliser to earn a 3-3 draw. Stabaek are actually winless in 5 games but have drawn plenty of matches this season, a total of 6 out of 14 which is the joint most in the league. The one thing I will say about Jan Jonsson is that his team selections are fairly consistent. He doesn’t like to over complicate things if possible and probably the biggest problem he’s encountered recently is at the back where either injury or suspension has led to a few changes. Yaw Amankwah is rated doubtful and so is Jørgen Øveras.

Brann sacked Lars Arne Nilsen and immediately won their first match without him as they went and shocked Molde 2-1 away from home. It seemed like Brann had turned a new corner and the hire of Kåare Ingebrigtsen appeared to give everyone a lift. However, the ex RBK coach suffered defeat at home to Mjøndalen (0-1) and Brann inexplicably failed to make the most of their dominance. The same old problems reared their ugly heads as the likes of Bamba simply weren’t clinical enough in front of goal. In between both boxes Brann looked quite decent last week but the lack of a final ball or decent shot cost them, in addition to one slack moment in defence when they switched off.

This Monday match is probably the hardest fixture of the round to predict. Anything with Stabaek involved is tricky at the best of times but we are still trying to understand the impact of Ingebrigtsen on Brann. There are a lot of question marks on both sides so I think it probably makes sense to avoid betting on the game. Brann have a good recent record between the two teams in terms of H2H and on paper have the better team. Maybe a draw is most likely here but in all honesty nothing would surprise me.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None