Tippeligaen – Aalesund v Odd Preview (2/10/16)

akf-oddAalesund preview

AFK have really got the bit between their teeth at the moment. They were in serious relegation trouble but a string of three consecutive victories have now launched them out of the red zone. In total, the western outfit have won 5 of their last 8 Tippeligaen games. Nobody really battered too much of an eyelid when they hammered Start 4-1 away from home, it was an expected success. But Aalesund used that momentum as a springboard. The offense looked really good against Start & Godset, but then they also showed some defensive resilience last week, grinding out a 1-0 win at Valerenga. I don’t think Aalesund can rely on they their backline to keep it tight every week, but it was an encouraging sign for them. AFK have a 4-4-4 home record and can be inconsistent here, but historically this is a fairly tough place to visit. Captain Bjorn Helge Riise returns from suspension for this match, but left back Mikkel Kirkeskov is banned.

Odd preview

The visitors haven’t been playing that well for a while now. In total, Odd have won just 2 of their last 10 games and both of those were against the hapless Start and Lillestrom. They are still in a medal position but have relinquished second spot to Brann and on current form don’t look like getting it back. It’s difficult to properly pinpoint what's been going wrong for Odd. It seems they’ve regressed in all areas of the field. One week their defence will let them down, and then on another occasion the offense fires blanks. Last week they produced a much better and resolute defensive performance at Godset, keeping it tight for the majority of the game. But it was noticeable how much on the back foot they were facing out of form opponents. Injuries haven’t helped Odd of course. The midfield duo of Samuelsen & Nordkvelle have been playing hurt and promising young winger Zekhnini hasn’t featured at all of late.

Conclusion & betting analysis

It’s fairly obvious a form team is coming up against an out of form side here. Therefore, I’d say it’s a surprise that Odd are a -0.25 Asian handicap favourite It’s true that on paper they have better quality, but quite simply that isn’t shining through right now. They are limping over the finishing line and at this rate will finish out of the medal positions. Aalesund meanwhile, are fighting for their lives and desperate for points. They have shown good signs all over the field in recent times but most importantly, their confidence seems to have returned. I’m not saying the hosts will definitely win this game but I think there's a very good chance they can at least draw. Therefore, I think Aalesund +0.25 has to be the bet here. It looks terrific value and the odds are priced up more on reputation than current form. This might be a fairly tight match but I’m backing AFK to get something out of it.

Prediction: 1-0
Recommended bet 1 unit: Aalesund +0.25 @ 1.92