Stabaek has once again been a positive surprise under guidance of manager Bob Bradley this season. Another season without money to buy good players, Bradley and the board in Stabaek have managed to get young players and made them a strong unit against instead. They come from two wins against both Lillestrom (0-2) and Tromso (0-2) were they were huge underdogs in terms of the odds, but ended up beating both teams in a highly deserved way. Bob Bradley has been thinking cynical in terms of how he wants his team play, and he is very good at finding his team’s advantages in terms of what kind of opponents they are facing. With very quick attackers upfront, the strategy is often to quickly get passes directly behind the opponent’s defensive line in order to catch them off guard.
The defender Nicolai Ness (5/0) is dealing with a concussion he got against Tromso in their last match. He is described as doubtful, but is not expected to play. In addition midfielders Craig Henderson (0/0) and Evgenji Kirisov (0/0) are long-term absentees.
The year 1992 was the last time that Mjondalen was in Tippeligaen. 23 years later there are back again with a fantastic start to their season. They started the season by beating Viking (1-0) at home, before getting three draws in a row against much stronger opponents like Stromsgodset (1-1), Start (1-1) and Odd (2-2). However, they had to be stopped sometime and it happened bigtime when Lillestrom (1-4) came to visit in their last game. After getting another positive start with a 1-0 lead, the strikers of Lillestrom terrorized Mjondalen’s defense with pace and precision in order to make it 1-4. This was their only game so far that they have really been outplayed, and they have proven the experts wrong as they characterized as having no chance to stay in Tippeligaen this season.
Midfielder Vamouti Diomande (3/0) who got a horrible knee injury in the game against Start is missing. Defender Kinni Grewal (0/0) is also out, while defender Morten Sundli (4/0) is returning after suspension.
This is a very exciting game with two teams that have been estimated to be at the very bottom half all season long. However, both teams have really been impressive with their enthusiasm and superb tactical display through their first five games. They are coming from different settings however, as Stabaek is still on a high while Mjondalen’s record got a huge scratch against Lillestrom. Stabaek is the favorites and another win should be the case here. However, because of Mjondalen being able to surprise so many times this season, I choose Stabaek to score at least two goals tonight.
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