Start vs Bodo/Glimt by 20Legend
Start continues their horrible season as they still have the rock bottom position in Tippeligaen. The statistics could not have been any worse after 14 games with 0-6-8 and 9:27 on goal difference. The club is experiencing one long nightmare as it is over a year since they last won a football match. No wins this season have clearly created a physiological problem for the players as they tend to get nervous when getting the ball in both attacking and defending situations.
Start got a very tough result against them with the last game before the summer break with a heavy loss against 15th placed Stabaek (0-5). This was an important game with both teams being in the relegation zone and it certainly made the road more difficult for Start when going forward. After a positive summer break with a win against Sonderjyske (1-2) in a club friendly, Start was ready to take on the second half of the season last weekend against Haugesund (2-1).
That was a very tough match for them with Haugesund being one of the more positive surprises this season and a quite confident offensive line. Nevertheless, Start went for glory from early on and got the lead already after 15 minutes. It was their only shot on goal for the entire first half, but they managed to keep the lead and the ball possession quite equal until halftime.
The second half started horrible for them as the nerves came crawling with Haugesund building up a pressure right from the kickoff. Haugesund took over the initiative completely and equalized already after 49 minutes. It all became a question of survival for Start as the second half evolved with Haugesund dominating the ball possession. The host created several chances and got rewarded after 67 minutes with their second goal of the game. The Start players were naturally frustrated as Haugesund turned the game around, but they did not give up completely.
They got two major chances within the last four minutes, but both chances were denied in the last second by both a defenders leg and an amazing reaction by Haugeund’s goalkeeper. Their second league loss in a row was therefore slightly arguable whether it was a deserved one or not, but the margins are certainly not with this struggling team either. The points did not come their way in this difficult away game, but some improvements were there in the first half especially.
They need to build on that performance and be more cynical in the games ahead if they should take enough points with their current squad. Defender Rolf Daniel Vikstol (12/0) and striker Uduak Idemokon (3/0) are still missing out with injuries.
Bodo/Glimt is currently holding on to the 13th place in Tippeligaen which is the last safe spot as well. It is only one point down to the relegation zone which says a lot about a bad first half of the season for this team as well. 3-3-8 has given them 12 points and it is already a gap of four points up to 11th placed Tromso. That makes every match counting for Bodo/Glimt if the relegation zone should be avoided. Their 1st keeper Hannes Tor Halldorsson (12 games) has not been available due to his international duty for Iceland in the European Championship this summer.
It was therefore their 2nd keeper Simon Thomas (2 games) that got a rare chance between the pipes against the league leaders Rosenborg (0-0) last weekend. With their current form before the summer break in mind, it was nothing that spoke for any points to Bodo/Glimt in this match. However, Simon Thomas did really grab his opportunity and was like a wall against Rosenborg’s attacking force. In addition to his great performance, Bodo/Glimt produced the second best chance of the game when their striker Fitim Azemi stood all alone in front of Rosenborg’s goal.
However, the finish was only denied by an amazing save from Rosenborg’s keeper. Simon Thomas then denied an even bigger chance after 86 minutes as the ball hit the post before he managed to fumble the ball away from dangerous space. It was therefore a fear point for Bodo/Glimt, but also a very surprising one.
Bad news came their way yesterday though as 2nd keeper Simon Thomas broke one of his fingers and he needs an operation. He will be missing at least the next eight weeks which gives the team a problem after the next two weeks. 1st keeper Hannes Tor Halldorsson (12 games) is currently on loan from Nijmegen, but the deal expires on July 19th. With Nijmegen’s new manager in place and Halldorsson’s strong performances during the Euros, he is wanted back in Netherlands as their former 1st keeper Brad Jones has left the club and joins Feyenoord.
The 39 year old 3rd keeper Jonas Ueland Kolstad (0 games) is therefore Bodo/Glimt’s only choice after Halldorsson at the moment. In addition to the absence to 2nd keeper Simon Thomas, defender Ruben Imingen (0/0) and midfielder Morten Konradsen (0/0) are still injured.
This match is definitely an important one for both teams in order to not lose any more tracks of the teams ahead of them. Start is experiencing a crisis at the moment, but showed some small improvements last time out against Haugesund. Bodo/Glimt has more points, but has not been able to get any huge gap away from the relegation zone either. 1-1-4 away from home does also make them one of the weakest traveling teams in the league. Start lacks confidence at both ends of their teams while Bodo/Glimt also struggles to score enough goals.
However, this game should be wide open given the circumstances for both teams and goals both ways cannot be left out of the picture in my opinion. It is therefore naturally to look for over 2.5 goals tonight even if both teams struggle on scoring enough goals so far. The chances will definitely occur for both teams here and the desperation to win for Start is at the highest right now after over a year without a win.