Preview: Sarpsborg 08 vs. HamKam – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Norwegian Eliteserien clash between Sarpsborg 08 and HamKam, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Sarpsborg 08 and HamKam will be looking to bounce back from Norwegian Cup exits when they face off at the Sarpsborg Stadion on Sunday.

The hosts are currently sitting in sixth place in the Eliteserien table, while the visitors are languishing in the automatic relegation places.

Match preview

After enjoying a run of three consecutive victories in all competitions, Sarpsborg have been stopped in their tracks with back-to-back defeats.

They went into their midweek cup tie against Molde off the back of a disappointing 5-2 defeat to Stromsgodset in the league.

Their hopes of winning the quarter-final clash were dashed inside the opening 35 minutes as Molde raced into a three-goal, and while Ramond Lundqvist pulled a goal back in the 72nd minute it was too little too late.

Sarpsborg will have to pick themselves up from their cup exit and turn their attention to Sunday’s contest, where they will look to continue their fine home form, having won three of their last four home matches in the Eliteserien.

They have also won their last four competitive home games against HamKam since suffering a 4-2 defeat in June 2007.

HamKam, meanwhile, would have been relieved to bring an end to their nine-game winless league run with a narrow 2-1 victory over Aalesund last weekend.

Henrik Udahl and Halvor Opsahl grabbed a goal apiece to guide their side to just their third win of the Eliteserien season, ensuring they entered Thursday’s Norwegian Cup meeting against Bodo/Glimt in a positive mood.

After playing out a goalless first period, their dreams of reaching a cup semi-final were shattered by second-half strikes from Albert Gronbaek and Patrick Berg.

With their cup run now over, they will now focus on their relegation fight, with HamKam currently sitting below the relegation playoff spot on goal difference and one point adrift of safety altogether.

Having lost all six of their away games in the top flight this season, Jakob Michelsen‘s side will need to improve on their travels if they are to escape the drop zone.

Sarpsborg 08 Norwegian Eliteserien form:

Sarpsborg 08 form (all competitions):

HamKam Norwegian Eliteserien form:

HamKam Norwegian form (all competitions)

Team News

The hosts are expected to be without the services of Magnar Odegaard and Joachim Thomassen, who are both sidelined with injury issues.

After dropping out of the side for the midweek cup defeat to Molde, Simon Tibbling could be recalled to the starting lineup.

Kristian Opseth, who has scored five goals in 12 league appearances this season, is expected to be given the responsibility of leading the Sarpsborg forward line.

As for the visitors, they are still unable to call upon Canadian defender Julian Dunn-Johnson, who is a long-term injury absentee.

John Nordheim had to settle for a place among the substitute on Thursday, but he could return to the starting lineup to feature in a back three alongside Fredrik Sjolstad and Opsahl.

Kobe Hernandez-Foster, Kristian Onsrud and Udahl could also be brought back into the side for Sunday’s encounter.

Sarpsborg 08 possible starting lineup:
Kristiansen; Wichne, Utvik, Ngouali, Soltvedt; Andersen, Torp; Maigaard, Lundqvist, Tibbling; Opseth

HamKam possible starting lineup:
Jendal; Opsahl, Sjolstad, Nordheim; Gammelby, Kurtovic, Kjaergaard; Kirkevold, Udahl

SM words green background

We say: Sarpsborg 08 3-1 HamKam

HamKam have lost all six away league games this season, and we think their away-day struggles will be exploited by a Sarpsborg side who have won three of their last four home matches in the Eliteserien.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

ID:518552:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect11191:

Previews by email

Click here to get Sports Mole‘s daily email of previews and predictions for every major game!