Football players going for the ball

Written by Cornermanden. The author’s opinions and predictions are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Unibet.

Eliteserien is over for now. But we still have one more round to enjoy! I have taken a look ahead to what awaits before the winter break. There’s also an important qualifier for promotion in OBOS-ligaen to preview.

Last Week’s Results

Four picks from me in Eliteserien last time where three of them won. Another great result where the net profit was 1.79 units. Very, very good. Let’s keep it going.


Do Or Die


Sandefjord have a really simple scenario in front of them: better Kristiansund’s result and they will be safe from immediate relegation. But if KBK wins and Sandefjord themselves don’t do the job, then it’s game over and OBOS next season. They are currently priced at 2.05 to beat Haugesund, a team who thrive on natural grass and have picked up some great form of late, after they switched to a 3-4-3 formation with Krygård in defence. Sandefjord have won one home game all season and that was actually the last time they won a football match: late in July against Kristiansund. There’s no reason to believe that they will suddenly improve and beat Haugesund comfortably. I just don’t think the increased motivation and pressure will squeeze a good performance out of them, although they have some decent players to rely on. Haugesund are probably a decent team to play in this type of game, but it will by no means be easy. I will look at corners in this highly important game.

Momentum & Power


Somehow, Kristiansund have managed to be in a position with something to play for on the last day. Incredibly impressive – there’s nothing more to say about their achievement. They are in attack mode and basically with nothing to lose after their horrendous start to the season. “Uglan” have to win against Jerv (or draw if Sandefjord lose) to have any chance of staying up. I fancied Rosenborg to crush Jerv on Sunday and they did, so my belief in Kristiansund in such an important game where they have everything to win by going all guns blazing, is very strong. They have always been a good home team on their quick and tight surface, and will not dread lowly Jerv at all, although they always treat their oppositions with respect. I think KBK will win and that Sandefjord don’t – that means 14. spot for Michelsen’s team.

Normally Strong At Home


Strømsgodset have traditionally always been a solid home team with their fans from Drammen and Buskerud backing them. They play “chaotic” football with chances at both ends, and are usually one of the most feared home teams in the division. But the air has left the balloon, so to speak, in recent weeks. The spark has gone and a lot of rotations on who plays where have given them little consistency. Bodø/Glimt, just like Sandefjord, only have to better Rosenborg’s result to secure second spot, which I think they will. I watched Glimt live against PSV and thought they looked more like themselves again, playing direct and with a high tempo throughout. Four goals conceded in the following game against Viking was terrible, so Knutsen needs to address this during the winter. I reckon they can – and will – beat Godset, but 1.42 is an awfully low price in my opinion.

Very Strong At Home!

Rosenborg-Sarpsborg 08

“Troillan” from Trøndelag have definitely addressed their home form this year. They are yet to lose a single game at Lerkendal, and have impressed against “better” teams by dominating Glimt, for example. They have to win against Sarpsborg to stand any chance of clinching the second place, which I, just like in the case with Glimt, think they will do. Rekdal’s team miss Holse (injury) and Sæter (suspension), but can feel assured that their replacements (Nypan or Skjelbred, and Vecchia) will not weaken the side. Rosenborg look better organised and will be force to be reckoned with next year, when I think they can challenge Molde and Glimt all the way for the title. Sarpsborg 08 have improved a lot since the impressive comeback against Kamma a couple of months ago, but don’t have anything to play for here. They will look forward to next season, but probably leave Trondheim with next to nothing in terms of points, I think.


Happy Ending At Alfheim


This is not the game I was buzzing to write about, but it’s a game between two sides who can be proud of the season they have produced. Tromsø, under Gaute Helstrup, have usually been well organised, but always lacked the cutting edge and attacking spark. Now that Eric Kitolano, August Mikkelsen and Lasse Nordås are purring, they have added that part of their game by being more entertaining to watch. I’m sure that Gutan will be keen on ending the season on a high, and making sure that the season ends happily. Aalesund were never the same after Mättää and Haugen left in the summer window, but their defensive solidity has given them a good platform to build from. I fear for them next season, when many of the older players are out of contract and a big renewal/overhaul is necessary.

Relegation Form

Viking-Odds Ballklubb

It’s hard not to feel sorry for Viking. The Stavanger team have been extraordinarily poor after Berisha and Sebulonsen left for other Scandinavian teams, and were knocked out of Europe in the cruellest possible way. They can be encouraged after decent displays against Molde and Glimt, but are not ending the season with a very good feeling in their mouths. A good performance, a couple of goals and hopefully a win will do a lot for them. Odd, however, will not lie down and give them anything for free. Paco and his famous “Paco ball” have blossomed ever since they lost Lauritsen and Kitolano in the summer. It’s hard to argue that Viking should be big favourites here, but I just have a little feeling that the home team will get a good ending to their season by beating Odd. I wouldn’t back them at 1.75, though, but hope (for their sakes) that they can start pre-season with something to build from. A win would do nicely in this meaningless game.

Avoiding 7th Place


Vålerenga have now (since 2006) finished between 5th and 11th place in Eliteserien on 14 occasions. Their beloved 7th place has been hit five times in this period. It’s truly remarkable how many years Vålerenga fans have had to accept mediocrity and bang average seasons. This seems to be another one of those, though with a bit more excitement. They started the 2022 season awfully by being in a serious relegation fight, until they started winning and all of a sudden found themselves with a chance of finishing in the top 4. Yet again they have tailed off and are guaranteed to finish either 5h, 6th or 7th. Molde come to Oslo for this game, a team with nothing to play for but who are undisputable champions of Norwegian football. I don’t find many arguments in favour of Vålerenga here, but it is worth noting that Stefan Strandberg is back and will dramatically improve this Enga team. It should be a fun game with plenty of goals.

Thank You, Pål André Helland


Pål André Helland has announced his retirement from professional football, a choice which seems forced upon him. He has struggled with injuries for many years now, and has never really got any rhythm going since he signed for Lillestrøm. In his retirement speech to his teammates he explicitly said that he didn’t want to end his football career as a loser, so me being the football romantic that I am, don’t think he will. LSK host HamKam in a semi-derby here, a game that would have been electric had it been something to play for, for either team (or in the best case, both). “Fugla” will finish 4th, while “Kamma” almost certainly will finish in a respectable 13th position. Helland’s sentimental speech will edge this game for me, so I’m taking a bet on them to beat HamKam without conceding at 3.05. I think that’s priced at least 40 points too high, which means that we have value.


All To Play For


It’s expected to be a fairly tight game between two fairly even teams when Start face Kongsvinger in the final qualification game head to head between two OBOS teams. The winner of this game (which is played at the exact same time as the Eliteserien games on Sunday) will play either Kristiansund or Sandefjord away from home in the crucial game where the winner takes it all and plays in Eliteserien next year, a season where there’s more money floating around with the new TV deal. I initially want to say that I am very much in disagreement with Unibet (and the market as a whole) when I see that Start are big favourites here. As I said in my first sentence, I expect this to be an even game between two teams who are being coached by Tjelmeland and Mæland, two guys who know each other really well. Start play expansive football and want to dominate possession, while Kongsvinger are happy to vary and sit behind the ball and counter when they get a good turnover. Start at 1.75 is nowhere near value in my eyes, so I will definitely argue that Kongsvinger +0.75 at 1.86 is worth a punt (meaning you get half your money back if Start win by one goal, and the bet wins if Kongsvinger draw or win). I look forward to the game, and think that Kongsvinger have an advantage by the fact that they’ve maintained some form and played games, while Start haven’t been in action for two weeks now.


These are my picks for this weekend in the top two tiers of Norwegian football