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Norwegian Eliteserien | Gameweek 11
Jun 1, 2024 at 5pm UK
Briskeby Arena

1 - 2

Simenstad (51')
Kurtovic (8'), Mawa (11'), Kjaergaard (90+5')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Soltvedt (9' pen.), Didrik Blomberg (74')
Heltne Nilsen (29'), Crone (50'), Kristiansen (85'), Sery (90+5')

Preview: HamKam vs. SK Brann - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Norwegian Eliteserien clash between HamKam and SK Brann, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Capable of rising to the summit of the Norwegian Eliteserien table, Brann head to Briskeby Stadion on Saturday evening for a date with HamKam.

Eirik Horneland's side require just a point to leapfrog Bodo/Glimt into first place - at least momentarily - while their hosts are scrapping in the bottom half.

Match preview

Eirik Horneland, now in charge of Brann, pictured in September 2019© Reuters

Regular bottom-half battlers since earning promotion to the big time in 2021, HamKam may need to scrap for their Eliteserien status if their first 11 games - which they have acquired a measly 10 points from - are anything to go by.

The less said about the hosts' start to the 2024 campaign the better, but Jakob Michelsen's men were building up a head of steam in late April into late May, navigating five games unbeaten and earning their first two wins of the season back-to-back, starting with a 7-1 dismantling of Sarpsborg 08.

A shock 1-0 scalp over leaders and reigning champions Bodo/Glimt followed, but Hamkam lost their five-game unbeaten sequence and were given a rude awakening on May 26, going down 3-0 to Viking as Sondre Auklend netted twice either side of Simen Kvia-Egeskog's strike.

Languishing in 11th place in the standings after their latest setback, Hamkam are one of five sides currently boasting a 10-point tally at this early stage, although their superior goal difference to their fellow double-figure sides is keeping them above the dotted line for now.

Not much can be read into Hamkam's first four home games of the season - which have only yielded four points - but their surprise beating of Bodo/Glimt at Briskeby Stadion means that Brann's quest to usurp the champions may not be so straightforward as it seems.

One of the more recognisable names of Norwegian football, the visitors have fallen on some hard times since last conquering the nation in 2007, spending a couple of seasons in the second tier but managing to shoot straight back up to the first division on each occasion.

Most recently triumphing in the OBOS-ligaen in 2022 under current boss Eirik Horneland, Brann have quickly re-established themselves as a Scandinavian force to be reckoned with, finishing as runners-up to Bodo/Glimt last season, a repeat of which is currently on the cards.

As Bodo/Glimt failed to overcome Sandefjord, Brann left it incredibly late to overcome Kristiansund on Wednesday, where Joachim Soltvedt's penalty with 99 minutes on the clock saw the three-time Norwegian champions draw level with the leaders on 24 points for the season.

Only being kept off top spot by virtue of an inferior goal difference - albeit having played a game more - Brann will spend Saturday night in first place should they take at least a point home from HamKam's territory, before the champions bid to respond against Haugesund on Sunday.

Unbeaten in their first five away matches of the new Eliteserien season - winning two and drawing three of them - Brann also arrive at HamKam's home on a four-game triumphant streak against their hosts, whose last success in this battle came all the way back in 2006.

HamKam Norwegian Eliteserien form:

HamKam form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L

SK Brann Norwegian Eliteserien form:

Team News

Aside from 21-year-old centre-back Halvor Rodolen Opsahl, who is yet to make an appearance this season due to an unspecified concern, HamKam are in good shape for the weekend's contest, where a 3-5-2 shape should be employed by Michelsen.

Changes are not beyond the realm of possibility after last weekend's disappointment, though, as Moses Mawa and Oliver Kjaergaard - brother of the more esteemed Maurits Kjaergaard of Red Bull Salzburg - are alternative options in attack.

Meanwhile, Brann duo Ulrik Mathisen and Moonga Simba are also victims of the unspecified injury bug, while Mads Sande (ACL), Jonas Torsvik (groin) and Niklas Wassberg (knee) are also confined to the medical room.

Despite coming off at half time in a recent defeat to Molde, defender Japhet Sery Larsen completed the full 90 in midweek, although Magnus Warming - who only came on as a 75th-minute substitute - was unable to see out the game, coming off deep into added time.

Warming's concern should not impact Horneland's selection, but penalty hero Soltvedt - Brann's top scorer for the 2024 season from left-back - has surely played his way back into the XI.

HamKam possible starting lineup:
Sandberg; Mares, Norheim, Sjolstad; Jonsson, Onsrud, Simenstad, Kurtovic, Kongsro; Odegard, Mawa

SK Brann possible starting lineup:
Dyngeland; Crone, Knudsen, Sery Larsen, Soltvedt; Kornvig, Nilsen, Myhre; Blomberg, Finne, Castro

SM words green background

We say: HamKam 0-1 SK Brann

Midweek fatigue will work against a Brann side who have been fond of a stalemate on the road this season, and one loss for HamKam should not undo all of their successful exploits before that.

However, the visitors' knack for prevailing in this fixture coupled with their unbeaten sequence on the road means that they ought to avoid suffering the same fate at Bodo/Glimt, whom they should be briefly looking down on thanks to a hard-fought win this weekend.

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

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