Norway Eliteserien – Stabaek v Aalesund Preview (18/10/20)

Match Preview

Stabaek

I have said it all season, even before a ball was kicked that Stabaek are and will be the most difficult side to predict. They have proved me correct and you genuinely never know which version of them is going to show up. They are situated in 9th spot and in a ‘relatively’ secure sort of position above the relegation zone, however produced a horrible performance last time out. They found themselves 4-0 down away at Sarpsborg after just half an hour. Thankfully, things didn’t get any worse but it was an absolute horror show defensively. Stabaek sold key man at the back Andreas Hanche Olsen and replaced him with Gustav Valsvik on loan from Rosenborg. They did claim important home wins against both Haugesund and Start at home in the last month or so which will give them some confidence I’m sure.

Aalesund

AFK are a massive 11 points adrift of even the relegation play off spot and it looks increasingly likely that they will be automatically relegated. Lars Arne Nilsen took over from Lars Bohinen but they have lost all 6 games under his stewardship. I don’t think Aalesund have played ‘that’ badly under him and have actually lost 4 of those 6 games by just a one goal margin. The fundamental problem for Aalesund is keeping clean sheets. It’s something they haven’t managed all year. AFK added a trio of defenders in the most recent transfer window, but sold Holmbert Fridjonsson to Brescia and he was their leading marksman. They could lack firepower here because striker Sigurd Haugen is suspended. He has looked in reasonably good form recently bagging a couple of goals.

Conclusion & Betting analysis

Stabaek are 1.75 favourites to win but something puts me off them. They are just the sort of side to go and lay an egg by losing a match like this, Stabaek are capable of literally anything and in a game everyone expects them to win, maybe they will feel the pressure. Aalesund meanwhile, are free from any of that. Everyone has totally written them off so they can play with freedom. This is the last chance for them and they need to start picking up wins to have any sort of survival chance. Lars Arne Nilsen has had 2 weeks to prepare them for this fixture and I could see them being competitive. Aalaesund have felt ‘close’ to getting results recently but they find ways to lose games. I looked at over 2.75 goals because AFK have a desperate feel about them and if they are chasing the game all sorts of space will be left open. I am going to predict a shock result and that they get their first points under the new boss.

Prediction: 1-2

Recommended bet: None