Friday, 29 July 2016

Sarpsborg vs Start Tippeligaen Match Preview And Prediction - July 30, 2016

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Sarpsborg 08 are having an excellent season at the moment. They weren’t too distant from the relegation zone at the end of last campaign, although their points tally was comfortable thanks to the bottom three’s incompetence. They ended the season with 34 points from their 30 games, 13 more than the relegated Mjondalen and 18 points above the bottom placed Sandefjord.

This season they have improved drastically though, and just over halfway through this Norway Eliteserien season they find themselves up in 6th position with 28 points from 17 games. If they can hang on to this position this would be their best ever season in the Eliteserien, with their most successful to date being 2014’s 8th place finish.

Sarpsborg 08 are in an excellent spell of form too. They have won seven of their last eight in all competitions and only tasted defeat when they visited current champions and leaders Rosenborg. They endured a slow start to the season, but over the past few months they have been exceptionally good.

Start were one of three massively underperforming sides in the Eliteserien last season. They finished 3rd from bottom with just 22 points from their 30 games. This put them seven points adrift of safety and forced them into a relegation playoff with Jerv, which they obviously won.

This season they might not get that chance again though, and so far it’s gone horrendously. Start have only picked up seven points all season, putting them six points adrift of Aalesunds in 15th and eight points off safety.

They have lost four of their last six games and remain winless in the league this season. They are playing against a side who have won five on the trot at home as well, so this certainly won’t be an easy task for them.

Start have started to find the net with more regularity away from home, but I don’t think this will be the case on Friday. Sarpsborg 08 have only conceded two Eliteserien goals on home turf this season and have kept a clean sheet in each of their last five home games in the league. My prediction is for the hosts to win to nil, and odds of 6/4 for that outcome look very good value to me. I’m going for a 3-0 correct score prediction at 9/1 as well.

Sarpsborg 08 have won four, drawn one, and lost two of their last seven meetings with Start.

Sarpsborg 08 have conceded an average of just 0.25 goals per game at home in the league this season, keeping a clean sheet in 75% of matches. Start have scored 0.75 goals per game away from home this season, failing to score in 50% of their trips away.

Sarpsborg 08 are expected to have a fully fit squad available on Friday.

Start aren't thought to be carrying any major injury concerns.

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