Sandnes Ulf vs Sandefjord by 20Legend
Sandnes Ulf has all the right reasons for being disappointed with their season so far. A current 9th place is a cold fact which is quite far away from the clubs intentions of fighting for direct promotion. 7-4-7 has made them a rather unstable mark and difficult to predict the outcome each time they play with both surprised wins and losses along the way. However, promotion could still be in play with only four points up to the 6th place which gives qualification. That should be the natural target for Sandes Ulf as they also have the players to bring them there. After a long needed win against Strommen (1-0) two weeks ago, they did not manage to give Jerv (2-0) any competition last weekend in a clearly deserved loss.
The form away from home (2-3-4) is clearly worse compared to at home (5-1-3) though, and they have managed 3-1-1 from their latest five home games since the end of May. They have also brought in some a new midfielder with Henrik Breimyr from Start in Tippeligaen. He has played over 70 games in OBOS-Ligaen already and will bring experience to the club despite his young age.
Sandefjord was the biggest favorite to make a direct promotion back to Tippeligaen before the season, and they have been good so far. A current 2nd place with 35 points in 18 games and 11-2-5 to show for have clearly made them capable of making it. With that being said, the club is experiencing its worst period at the moment with three straight defeats to their belt.
It suddenly seems like they have got to the point where flow is not enough for them after just surfing on a giant wave and taken win after win. It has also resulted in two drastic things with 1st placed Kristiansund heading seven points ahead on the table, while their contenders from behind has closed them right in. 3rd placed Levanger grabbed a needed win yesterday which makes the level with Sandefjord before this game. It is therefore obviously not the time for Sandefjord to lose the grip at this moment.
It is no doubt that this game will be important to both teams tonight, but I think that the weather will make an impact on the final score. The western parts of Norway are experiencing plenty with rain these days and the forecast for tomorrow are horrible. Lots of rain during the day combined with much wind in the evening could make the conditions quite difficult here. This is also two teams that like to keep the ball on the ground and especially Sandefjord with their 3-5-2 formation. Even though Sandefjord is the best away team in the league (6-0-3), it does not seem like their form is in the right place at the moment.
Sandnes Ulf has to take points in order to keep track on the top 6 positions, but have not been dominant lately either. I predict a close game under difficult conditions that could lead to a much more direct attitude from both teams and more duals that usual. Under 2,5 goals seems to be worth the pick here with both form and weather in mind.