Start vs Sandnes Ulf by 20Legend
Start will take on their fifth club friendly since the end of January this afternoon when Sandnes Ulf finishes off the training camp at La Manga. Start has done a good job so far with 2-1-1 from their friendlies so far. They lost against Bodo/Glimt (2-0), won against Viking (2-0), got a draw against Jerv (1-1) and beat Sarpsborg 08 (2-1) in their last match. The match against Sarpsborg 08 was not a good game though as Sarpsborg’s keeper made two horrible mistakes that gave Start an open goal to score in both goals.
It is difficult to place Start ahead of this season as their last season was terrible. They have a quite young team, but they have brought in a new coach Steinar Pedersen. Pedersen trained Jerv in 1st Division last season who also brought them into the qualification for Tippeligaen which was sensational. Pedersen has a long career in Start as a player and he has a high star among players and people in general in the city. It will therefore be interesting to see how the team will be suited for Tippeligaen 2016. Their golden talent, Kristoffer Ajer, was sold to Celtic earlier this week, but he will stay in Start until the summer before he leaves to Scotland. That is vital to this team, as Ajer was by far their best player last season. He will bring creativity and leadership into the team when they need it the most.
Sandnes Ulf is in 1st Division this season as well, but they are one of the clubs that puts down a lot of effort and money to get experienced players to their club. Their squad consists of several players that have played in Tippeligaen and their coach is Bengt Sæternes, who has plenty of years in Tippeligaen himself, especially with Brann. They was in the top for a long time during last season, but suddenly got a blackout period which sent them out of the possibility of going up to Tippeligaen this season. They have only played two club friendlies so far and both have ended goalless against Bryne (0-0) and Mjondalen (0-0).
This will be a match between two teams that it will be a lot of questions about in front of how they will perform in their respective leagues. Start has the better team, but Sandnes Ulf has players to put up a real fight against them. No lineups are given yet, but it will probably be updated right before kick-off. However, I watched Start’s last game against Sarpsborg, which told me that Start is not quite ready to start the season yet. Therefore it can be chances both ways here even if Start is favorites. I predict that Start will win, but I can also see Sandnes Ulf getting a goal. Over 2.5 goals will be my pick.