Toppserien - Matchday 18 Preview: Will there be any surprises as the season enters the final stretch?

Toppserien - Matchday 18 Preview: Will there be any surprises as the season enters the final stretch?

Preview of the 18th Matchday in the 2016 Toppserien season.

Jonathan Walsh

With just five games left - four for some - the Toppserien is almost at and for 2016. Despite the matches running out fast, nothing is confirmed and everything is still to play for.

Will either of the top two slip up?

Despite boasting the best attack, defence, going unbeaten and having a staggering 39 goal-difference swing over AvaldsnesLillestrøm still have not secured the title.

Lillestrøm will play host to lowly Arna-Bjørnar, but will not be underestimating anyone after having to comeback from a goal down against Trondheims-Ørn to win 2-1 last weekend. Arna-Bjørnar did hold Stabæk to a goalless draw at the weekend to halt their losing run, though Lillestrøm will be confident of securing yet another victory.

Avaldsnes will face Klepp at the same time on Saturday afternoon and need to match the result of the table-toppers to keep alive their slim title hopes. Seven points behind with a game in hand, they kept the heat on with a late 1-3 win at Røa. Klepp fell to defeat at Sandviken, and it could well be the same story and as you were at the top.

Stabæk and Kolbotn face off in the battle for third

The biggest game of the weekend sees fourth play third in what could be the decisive week to see who ends up as the best of the rest. It is fitting that it is the last game, too.

Stabæk have been on a topsy-turvy run of late that has seen them slip from their perch and relinquish third from a superb position. Two wins, a pair of draws and a defeat have seen them pick up just eight points in their last five and Arna-Bjørnar held them to a draw last time out; much work to do, then.

The same can't be said of Kolbotn, who have confidently bounced back from a poor run of their own. After drawing with Medkila, they saw off Klepp 7-0 before edging past Vålerenga most recently. A win this Sunday would put them five points clear with four games to play, and should see them claim their highest finish since 2011.

Urædd and Medkila hoping to pick up more points

From the top to the bottom and after Urædd and Medkila went toe-to-toe last weekend, we are no closer to finding out which side will be dropping down a division this season.

Urædd will host Røa, who haven't won in their last three games; which included two defeats to the big two. The bottom side looked down and out after collecting just a solitary point 15 games. But the last two have seen them pick up that aforementioned draw and also beat Arna-Bjørnar to bring themselves back into survival contention.

Any points would really shift the pressure onto Medkila who play nearly 24 hours later against Trondheims-Ørn. They showed great fight to almost shock Lillestrøm, but fell just short. Neither side are in great form but a win would confirm Trondheim's status in the division for at least another year, and rest assured they'll be going all out to get it.

Sandviken and Vålerenga go head-to-head

Last but not least sees another side who could secure a place in next season's Toppserien, Vålerenga face Sandviken. These two have little other than pride to play for but will be keen to finish as high up the table as possible. Sandviken are favourites, and are currently on an impressive four-game unbeaten run.