Norway Tippeligaen – Lillestrom v Stabaek Preview (10/7/16)

LSK-STAB

Lillestrom preview

I have to say I thought LSK were damn awful last week against Tromso. They lost 2-4 and for about an hour of that game they simply weren’t at the races. It was as if they’d been on a month long piss up during the summer break! Vibes hadn’t been too great prior to the Tromso fixture though, with all sorts of transfer rumours circulating. I don’t think some of the minds of certain individuals were focused on the job. It did seem that LSK gradually came into the game more and they even missed a penalty to make it 3-3. But overall it was a worrying performance in all areas of the field. LSK have a goalkeeping issue with both their no1 & no2 custodians out injured. They’ve signed Pal Heigre on loan from Viking for a couple of games and he should start in this match. There are no other major injuries to report or suspensions.

Stabaek preview

What a turbulent season the visitors have had, especially in the last 10 days. Things started badly with a 0-0 draw away to Connah’s Quay in the Europa league, and they followed it up with a 0-1 home loss to Sogndal last week. Then in the return leg, incredibly Stabaek lost as 1.13 favourites against the Welsh side 0-1! That spelled the end for Billy McKinley who had been under a lot of pressure anyway. He’s been sacked and a caretaker is taking charge of this affair. It was clear to see that the Scot had lost the dressing room here and a number of players were looking disorientated. The message and his systems simply weren’t getting across. Who knows how Stabaek will respond in this short space of time, but I sense the noose around their neck might be lifted now. Right back Granli and midfielder Luc Kassi are doubtful due to injury.

Conclusion

These two teams actually met a couple of weeks ago in a friendly and Stabaek won 5-0! Maybe that was the warning sign for such a poor LSK performance last weekend. Since the summer break both sides have looked awful and I think this match is difficult to predict. If McKinley was still in charge of Stabaek, I’d probably predict a home win with more confidence here, but maybe the players could suddenly perform better now. There are so many question marks surrounding this game and in the end I’ll say a 2-1 Lillestrom success. But I don’t say that with much confidence! Literally nothing would surprise me here. There’s a strong local rivalry between the teams so passions could run high as well. It’s a really awkward match to predict.

Prediction: 2-1

Betting analysis

Lillestrom are generally priced around the evens mark here, and in some places they are odds-on. Anyone thinking about backing them has to seriously consider how poor they were last weekend. That said, Tromso are much better than Stabaek at the moment so LSK should have an easier fixture today. They also have extra physical freshness and are facing a side in turmoil. There’s always the risk that Stabaek could encounter new manage syndrome though, or at least sacked manager syndrome. I personally can’t be getting involved in that market. The goal line is set at 2.75 and this seems about fair too. A lot of Lillestrom games do tend to end over but who knows what the approach of both will be here? Maybe the interim Stabaek coach will set out his stall to defend in. My gut feeling is a home win and over 2.5 goals but overall it’s too risky to get involved in this match IMO. There are far too many question marks and it wouldn’t be sensible.

Recommended bet: None

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