Valerenga head in to the weekend sitting in the top six of the Eliteserien, and they’ll be hoping this home clash with Lillestrom can boost their standing in the table. They come in to this encounter as favourites, and after some decent home form which kicked off the new campaign, we think the hosts will expect to pick up all three points.
Valerenga finished last term with a solid top half finish, and they’re on course to repeat that based on their early season form. While they’re still a little too far off the European spots to make a push there, the hosts have every chance of improving on last season’s eighth place finish. They host a Lillestrom side who were in danger of dropping out of Norway’s top flight last term, finishing just five points above the bottom three last time out. Six months on, have they been able to boost their fortunes?
The visitors are still in the bottom six in the top flight, with just 11 points from 11 games. The five-time champions of Norway are languishing just two points above the drop zone, so there’s every chance that this season will become a battle for survival. If they’re to avoid that fate, then tightening up on the road in a must. Lillestrom are in terrible form on their travels, and they’ve let in far too many goals on the road ahead of this short trip to Olso.
The away side have conceded 78% of their goals against this season on their travels. Lillestrom have started the season having lost over half of the matches, including five defeats in six on the road. Only two sides have fewer, so this represents a fantastic chance for Valerenga to pick up maximum points this weekend. With three victories in the last five meetings between the pair at this ground, the Bohemians should add to their points tally with another victory on Saturday.
While Lillestrom have struggled on the road this season, that’s no new issue. They’ve failed to win 13 of their last 15 away trips, losing eight of their last 10. Meanwhile, the home side have already claimed home victories over Odd and Stabaek, the sides in 9th and 12th respectively. That should put them in a strong position ahead of an encounter with the side in 11th place. With that in mind, we think the value here is in a home win, alongside a 2-1 final score.
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Valerenga are unbeaten in their last six meetings at home to Lillestrom, although they’ve conceded four times in their last four encounters here.
Valerenga are missing Fitim Azemi this weekend, while Enar Jääger hasn’t featured this season through injury.
Lillestrom are expected to be at full strength, bar the absence of Sheriff Sinyan.