Start vs Lillestrom by 20Legend
Start is in the most challenging position that any team can be in football. They have lost eight straight games in Tippeligaen at the moment. The main problem is how to change the negative trends that obviously have got into the players’ minds. Their former coach, Mons Ivar Mjelde, has been criticized for most of the season and was sacked earlier this month and former player Bard Borgersen was set to lead the team out this season. His first match as the manager did not end well at all, with Start being outplayed by Sarpsborg 08 and lost 3-1. Especially the start of the match has been typical for them during this terrible run. They often concede early and almost starting every game with trying to get back into the game by scoring once, then try to win the game by scoring another. When conceding early combined with the players’ minds at this stage of the season, it is obvious that Borgersen must work with this problem for the upcoming matches.
Defender Andreas Hollingen (14/1) will return after his injury, while defender Ole Martin Rindaroy (14/0) will miss out.
Lillestrom is having a season as usual by being right in the middle of everything. It has been a lot of financial problems that has brought Lillestrom into this position for several seasons. In order to coupe with these problems, the club has sold a lot of great talents to other rivals. Fredrik Gulbrandsen and Ruben Gabrielsen to Molde and Kristoffer Ajer to Start are just some of the examples. With Kristoffer Ajer breaking through this season, a lot of former coaches and players are furious that Ajer has not been taken more care of when he grew up in Lillestrom. He will probably be sold to a much bigger club after this season or in a short period of time, which had given Lillestrom a lot more money than they got by letting him go to Start for almost nothing. The financial problems have led them into having an unbalanced team who struggles to win games. It is only because of their winger, Erlend Knudzon that they are in mid-table at this stage. He is the only creative player remaining and every game depends on his form.
It has been a better period in terms of results for Lillestrom now with 2-1-0 from the last three games. They had no problem beating Aalesund (3-1) last weekend in a game that Lillestrom was able to dominate from start to finish. Erlend Knudzon was important once again with his passing and pace that threatened the opponent’s defenders time after time. It was especially the 1st half that was most impressive, as Lillestrom controlled the game in terms of possession and was able to take advantage of it by scoring goals. At least no injuries are bothering Lillestrom at the current moment.
This is another important match for Start who must solve the puzzle very soon in order to be in Tippeligaen next season. They have the best chances at home (4-1-6) and Lillestrom could be the team to beat as they are struggling away from home (2-5-4). It will be an open game as the odds suggests and a goal to each team should be likely to happen.