Sarpsborg v Haugesund
There were times this season where each of these teams were in serious danger, but with six games left to play it looks like survival is likely for both. Sarpsborg just managed to turn around their form before things got catastrophic. Their injury time comeback last month vs Ham Kam will probably go down as their season-defining moment. If they had lost that game, then manager Steffan Billborn might have been sacked and they could still be in the relegation zone right now. As things stand, Sarpsborg have obtained 10 points from their last 4 games and now have a six point cushion to the playoff spot.
This is a team, which on paper would always appear to have the quality required for a midtable finish but they lost all of their confidence. Now that has returned, they have become dangerous again, although still have defensive issues which have plagued them all season. Sarpsborg have conceded a massive 46 goals in 24 games and their average xGA per 90 mins is 1.87. At the other end of the field, they do have the third best xG in the league though (47.76). This is the way that the manager likes to employ his tactics. High risk, high energy and very attack minded.
Haugesund started the year in terrible form, losing all of their first five matches. It has been a slow recovery, but they have now got themselves into a seemingly safe-ish position on 30 points. They could probably just do with another couple of points to give them extra assurances but now with a 7 point gap to the playoff spot things are looking much better. Haugesund have actually only lost 2 of their last 9 games and one of those was vs top of the table Molde. Most of their better results have come at home though.
Jostein Grindhaug’s men have only obtained two victories on the road in 11 matches this season. They did draw 1-1 at Bodø/Glimt recently where they played really well as an underdog. The primary issue that Haugesund have had all season has been a defence which has only kept two clean sheets in 24 league games. They have not been quite as bad as they were in the first half of the season but the loss of key defender Benjamin Hansen to Molde was a big hit which they have yet to really recover from. Their average xGA per 90 mins on the road is a massive 1.98 and that statistic is obviously a major problem.
This has the feel of a high scoring match which contains several chances and goals at either end of the field. Over 2.5 goals are definitely a consideration but both teams to score is exactly the same price and I think is a better bet. These two teams have just two clean sheets all season and neither defence can be relied upon. It would be nice to have the 1-1 scoreline on our side because I think a draw would not be the worst result for either team. All of the statistics point towards each of these teams hitting the back of the net at least once, so this looks like a safer selection.
Odd v Kristiansund
It is almost difficult to remember now but Odd were looking in trouble towards the middle of the summer, especially when they lost 0-7 away to Bodø/Glimt. Paco Johansen’s men have been in great form since then though and picked up 14 points from a possible 18 during a 6 match unbeaten run. Odd are now in a comfortable 6th position and will hope to keep that spot with only half a dozen games left. Now that they have achieved their objective of survival then it will be interesting if they take their foot off the gas, or whether the extra freedom might actually make them more dangerous. Odd have won their last three consecutive home games and suddenly the Skagerak Arena has become a stronghold again. They will aim to keep it that way before the end of the season. Odd have been ‘all or nothing; at home this season with 6 wins, 6 defeats and no draws.
There is no doubt that Kristiansund have much more motivation approaching this fixture. They are in a desperate situation fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table. They looked completely doomed a couple of months ago but have improved their form significantly. KBK have obtained 11 points from their last 6 games which is a very good return. Last week they were involved in a wild 4-4 draw vs Rosenborg at home. It was a game which rather summed up their problems. With a 3-1 lead I feel that the older version of Kristiansund in previous seasons would not have let that lead slip. Christian Michelsen’s men have conceded a massive 50 goals this season, which is a lot more than their xGA of 42.24. Their away record is very worrying with 10 out of 12 defeats and just one victory. This needs to improve if they are to get into the relegation playoff position, which they are currently 6 points adrift of.
The last nine Kristiansund matches have seen both teams scoring, of which 8 of those contests have gone on to contain over 2.5 goals. They are really taking a swing right now because they are in a desperate situation which requires extra risks. Odd have actually kept two clean sheets in their last three home games but have scored at least twice themselves in four straight games. Taking over 2.5 goals at 1.53 looks like the best bet. Both teams should be able to contribute but this also covers for something like a 3-0 or 4-0 Odd win, or indeed the rare possibility of Kristiansund doing the same.
Strømsgodset v Tromsø
This is a midtable battle between 8th and 9th in the table and both teams realistically have enough points required to probably survive. Strømsgodset have generally been poor since the middle of summer, only winning 3 of their last 12 league games. They are a much better home team though and possess a 7-2-3 record at Marienlyst Stadion this season. A recent defeat to Aalesund here 1-2 does highlight their frailties at the moment, but on the flip side they comfortably beat Jerv 6-0 and Kristiansund 4-1. A lot depends on which version of Strømsgodset actually shows up on the day. They have a goal difference of exactly zero, scoring 38 goals but also conceding 38 times. Strømsgodset missed five regular first team starters to injury last weekend. It is difficult to judge exactly who they might have back for this fixture, but the issues are mostly defensive with Lars Vilsvik, Ari Leifsson and Herman Stengel all doubtful. 8 of the last 9 Strømsgodset matches in the Eliteserien have contained over 2.5 goals.
Tromsø travel here with one less point on the board than their opponents but are in much better form. They lost 0-1 at home to Molde last week but that was never going to be an easy fixture vs the potential champions elect. Overall, the team from the Arctic Circle have only lost 3 of their last 11 league games and propelled themselves up to what looks like a safe mid-table spot. Their away record has been rather disappointing this season and along with Jerv are the only team in the league yet to register a victory on their travels. Tromsø have drawn 7 out of 12 road games though and can be difficult to beat. Gutan have been involved in several high scoring matches recently, such as the 4-3 win vs Rosenborg and a 2-2 away draw at Viking. Similar to Godset, they have some defensive absences with Jostein Gundersen done for the season with a broken eye socket at right back Niklas Vesterlund out with a back problem.
This feels like it should be a high scoring encounter between two teams who don’t have much to fear. The Strømsgodset defence looked terrible last week when they lost 0-4 to Vålerenga and their xGA in that fixture was a massive 3.01. They got absolutely battered and Tromsø must surely feel like they can have some success in this game offensively. I like the idea of backing over 2.5 goals, but I think both teams to score is a safer play. Tromsø are never that far from the 1-1 scoreline and two of the last three meetings between the teams ended that way. It is a slightly shorter price of 1.53 but at worst this fixture should end 1-1.
Rosenborg v Vålerenga
The big match of the round comes from the Lerkendal Stadion where 3rd place Rosenborg host an in-form Vålerenga. Rosenborg will have been disappointed to only draw 3-3 away at Kristiansund last week. They were 1-3 down in that game but came back to lead 4-3, only to then concede right at the death in added on time. That match rather sums up both the strengths and weaknesses of RBK at the moment. They are full of goals and scored a whopping 30 times in their last ten Eliteserien games. The summer signing of striker Casper Tengstedt from Danish club Horsens has proven to be inspiring. He has netted 10 times in 8 appearances and also weighed in with 5 assists!
At the other end of the field Rosenborg have had their issues and failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last 9 games, but at least they look like outscoring virtually anyone. RBK have the best home record out of any team this year, winning an impressive 9 out of 11 matches at this venue and yet to suffer defeat. To add further spice to affairs, manager Kjetil Rekdal faces his former club where he has both managed and also had over 100 appearances as a player. The reverse fixture resulted in a 4-0 Rosenborg victory.
Vålerenga can surely be confident heading into this clash. They’ve won 9 of their last 11 Eliteserien games and propelled themselves up to 5th place. Their next two fixtures could be season-defining though with this trip to Rosenborg and then hosting Bodø/Glimt. Should things go well then VIF are a major candidate to finish second, but should they suffer two defeats then 4th or 5th might be the best they can think about. Manager Dag Eilev Fagermo deserves a lot of praise for turning around their fortunes He was close to the sack in the middle of the summer but once again showed his determination and managerial pedigree during a difficult period.
He has been aided by his players, especially star man Osame Sahraoui who has been playing as well as anyone in Norway in the last few months. There are some question marks surrounding the fitness of Sahraoui who has been battling a hip injury recently. Former Odd and Rosenborg striker Torgeir Børven was signed towards the end of the summer transfer window and has looked sharp recently, scoring two goals vs Godset last week and prior to that he supplied two assists vs Sandefjord. Vålerenga are not as reliable away from home, winning just 4 out of 12 road games this season.
The obvious place to look for a bet in this game is to take over 2.5 goals. However, that price is a disappointing 1.50. Despite recent statistics backing up a potential high scoring match I am not so sure this will be as wild compared to what most expect. A lot is now at stake with only six games remaining and Vålerenga have a reputation for bottling these sorts of occasions. With a big crowd behind them and an excellent home record I think Rosenborg will get the 3 points and obtain a crucial victory. I think they are worth backing at a value 2.0 price because there is a reliable element about them at the Lerkendal Stadion.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
18+ please gamble responsibly.
Back the Four & Five Star Selections as an Accumulator on Betfair ⬇️
*Bet link only appears when accessing from mobile.
Haven’t got a Betfair account? You’re in luck…
Sign up to Betfair and get a full refund if your first bet loses. Grab an account through the offer below and place £20 on the 6/1 Norwegian Eliteserien Best Bets Accumulator. Here are the two possible outcomes: