Preview: Sandefjord vs. Tromso IL

Two sides embroiled in a relegation battle in the Norwegian Eliteserien do battle on Wednesday as bottom-of-the-league Sandefjord face 14th-placed Tromso IL at the Komplett Arena.

The hosts are 16th in the league with just nine points from 12 matches and trail safety by four points, while the visitors are one point better off in 14th place.

Match preview

Having escaped relegation by the skin of their teeth in the last two seasons, winning the relegation/promotion playoff in 2022 and securing safety on the final day in 2023, Sandefjord are once again set to battle for their survival this campaign.

Hans Erik Odegaard and Andreas Tegstrom, who have co-managed Sandefjord since 2021, have guided their side to just two victories in the 12 league matches this year, the fewest of any side in the division.

They have failed to come out victorious in the league since remarkably recording back-to-back victories over Molde FK and Sarpsborg 08 in early May, leaving them on a run of six games without a win in the Norwegian Eliteserien heading into this one.

A 4-2 friendly victory over fourth-placed Fredrikstad FK, following two successive draws in the league, seemed to signal a run of form for Sandefjord, but a disappointing 2-1 loss to relegation rivals HamKam followed, seeing them fall further away from safety.

A second match in a row against a relegation-battling side is set to come on Wednesday, giving Sandefjord the chance to climb away from the bottom of the table if they secure a victory.

Their opponents Tromso could, however, move four points clear of the hosts if they take all three points in their trip to the Komplett Arena, although they have not picked up a win at this stadium since 2010.

After struggling in the opening weeks of the season, losing all of their first five league matches, Tromso have been much improved in recent weeks with three wins and a draw in their last seven outings.

They will be looking to keep that improved run going with a first away win of the campaign in this one as they look to avoid recording their first bottom-half finish since securing promotion back to the top flight ahead of the 2021 season.

While Tromso have struggled in their visits to Sandefjord in recent years, they have gone unbeaten in the last five meetings between these two sides, giving them plenty of confidence ahead of this one.

Team News

The hosts are set to be without no fewer than two players for this relegation six-pointer as both Aleksander Nilsson and Darrell Tibell continue their spells on the sidelines.

Eman Markovic has scored in two of his last three competitive appearances for the side and is expected to start alongside Alexander Ruud Tveter and Jakob Dunsby here.

The visitors are also unable to call upon the services of two players with both Miika Koskela and Vegard Erlien absent through injuries.

Lasse Selvag Nordas is Tromso’s top scorer with four goals this season and the forward is expected to start once again here, with his side looking to make to make the difference.

Sandefjord possible starting lineup:
Keto; Egeli, Bergile, Gjone, Cheng; Mork, Ottosson, Amin; Dunsby, Tveter, Markovic

Tromso IL possible starting lineup:
Haugaard; Paintsil, A Jenssen, Guddal, Skjaervik, Norheim; Nordas, Hjerto-Dahl, R Jenssen, Antonsen; Romsaas

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *