Monthly Archives: June 2019

Norway Eliteserien – Molde v Brann Preview (30/6/19)

Match Preview

There had been some criticism of Molde recently, especially away from home where some of their results had been questionable. Erling Moe's side hit back with an excellent 4-0 victory at Godset last week though. All of the goals were scored in the first half and the surprise hero was striker Leke James. This is a man who has had to be quite patient this season, playing second fiddle on the bench to Ohi Omoijuanfo, who is the Eliteserien top scorer. I just don't see how James can be dropped after such a great performance though and at the same time fitting both him and Ohi into the same starting XI probably isn't going to work. James has more of a natural flair about him and will be brimming with confidence after last week.

The gap between Molde and Brann is seven points so if the visitors were to lose this fixture then a title charge seems beyond their reach. To be honest, I don't see Brann doing enough anyway this season because they seem far too inconsistent. One thing they can take comfort from though is a good away record in which they picked up 10 points from the last four games. This is a much more difficult test for them at a ground where they have a horrible record historically. You have to go back all the way to 2011 for the last time they even so much as picked up point from the Aker Stadion. The last time the Bergen outfit won here was in 2006 and MFK have tasted victory in all of the last six head-to-head's at this venue.

I think that Molde do have some vulnerabilities defensively at times. The return from injury of Kristoffer Haugen at left back has definitely helped them be more solid though. Molde have a 100% home record in the Eliteserien, winning 6/6 matches scoring 18 goals and conceding just two in the process. I think it's going to be business as usual for them in front of their own fans and I'm happy to back them on a -0.5 or -0.75 Asian Handicap. Brann won't of course lay down easily but they have a terrible record in this fixture as aforementioned, and I just don't see them having enough overall strength to combat this Molde outfit. A midweek defeat in the cup 0-4 at Ranheim also has to be worrying for Brann, considering they fielded a full strength side. Molde have had full week to prepare for this game so should also have a physical advantage.

Prediction: 3-1

Recommended bet: Molde -0.5 @1.85

 

Norway Eliteserien – Mjøndalen v Viking Preview (30/6/19)

Match Preview

Both sides have done reasonably well since their promotion. Expectations weren't really high for either of these clubs, especially Mjøndalen. Vegard Hansen's men conceded a staggering amount of goals in the early stages of the campaign. However, they have somewhat steadied the ship at the back since April. It is nevertheless worth noting that MIF have still only kept one clean sheet all season. The step up to the Eliteserien is never easy for any of these promoted sides. MIF currently reside 14th in the table which is a position they would gladly accept come the end of the season. I personally think they will be relegated but it's clear they are far more competitive than I expected overall.

Viking are doing better and are 7th in the league. It certainly helped their cause that they won the first three Eliteserien games in 2019. Since then, only two victories have been picked up but they have a good record against sides in the bottom half of the table. A lot was said about the Viking defence at the start of the year. It was expected to be an abomination but turned out to be surprisingly tight. There have been signs recently though that they can be targeted. Molde scored five times against this backline and then last week they conceded four times at home to Bodo Glimt. At least Viking do contain a strong attacking threat themselves. The quartet of Hoilland, Tripic, Bytyqi and Thorstvedt have been excellent this year.

It’s no secret that MIF can cause loads of problems from set pieces. In Solberg Olsen or Stian Aasamundsen, amongst others, they have some really good takers. Of course, it also helps that they have an abundance of height and strength in the team overall. I'm not sure that the Viking defence will deal with some of the set pieces very well. This fixture last season in the second tier ended 2-4 to Viking, and whilst a similar result would be a bit extreme I do expect this to be an open encounter. There shouldn't really be any fear for either side and both will be targeting three points. MIF are -0.25 Asian Handicap favourites but I'm not sure who will win. The pick I like is to take over 2.75 goals because I just see it being the type of game containing chances at both ends.

Prediction: 2-2

Recommended bet: Over 2.75 goals @ 1.85

 

Norway Eliteserien – Stabaek v Ranheim Preview (30/6/19)

Match Preview

Jan Jonsson is now in charge of Stabaek for his second stint at the club and registered his first league win since taking over at the helm again last weekend. It was somewhat of a fortuitous victory 1-0 at Kristiansund. To be brutally honest Stabaek were outplayed and conceded a lot of chances but luckily KBK missed all of them, including a penalty. Then in midweek they suffered a 2-5 defeat in the Norwegian Cup which was quite a concerning result. Perhaps even more concerning was the red card issued to key striker Franck Boli. He will be suspended for this game and probably a couple more after it. This suspension is terrible news for Eliteserien fantasy players who were ready for a big output from Boli next few weeks. It's also bad news for potential over backers like myself. I did like the idea of taking over 2.5 or 2.75 goals but losing Boli severely reduces goal potential. So I'll leave this one alone and my best guess is a 1-1 draw.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None

 

Norway Eliteserien – Lillestrøm v Tromsø Preview (30/6/19)

Match Preview

Tromso have found some form recently by winning three consecutive league games. A couple of those victories have been against Molde and Rosenborg, games nobody really fancied them in. Simo Valakari's men have got the job done in a different way compared to normal. Tromso have been willing to graft and grind and it's been quite noticeable how much of a strong defensive effort they've put in. This is not really typical of their normal style but it shows they've been willing to adapt after what was a very tough period of results for them. Key men for them recently have been defenders Antonsen and Wangberg. They travel to Lillestrom this weekend in confident mood and will fancy their chances against a side who for the most part struggled in 2019. I suspect this might be a tight sort of game in which neither team really wants to lose. A prediction is so hard and this is maybe the most difficult game of the weekend to bet on. The best suggestion I can give us a draw but absolutely nothing would surprise me here.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None

 

Norway Eliteserien – Haugesund v Vålerenga Preview (30/6/19)

Match Preview

This looks like a really hard match to predict. Haugesund lost for the first time in six games last week when they went down at Odd 1-3. Progression in the mid week cup came after extra time but it was a match they dominated so it might not affect them too much physically. I personally find FKH quite a difficult team to predict the season because their results are quite random in terms of consistency. I guess the real big question here is which version of Valerenga turns up? There was a period about a month ago where they looked excellent but I have to wonder now exactly who they beat and it doesn't look on paper like it's anything to shout home about. I have been really disappointed with their recent performances in both league and cup and I'm quite worried about the direction they are heading. A vast improvement is needed which is possible for them to obtain, but I'm just not sure. If the same version of VIF that lost against LSK and RBK turns up here then they will get beaten again.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None

 

Norway Eliteserien – Bodø/Glimt v Odd Preview (30/6/19)

Match Preview

Really big match here at Aspmyra Stadion between the two obvious contenders against Molde for the title. Both outfits have been excellent this year and have a contrast in style. Glimt are a really nice side to watch and have a great attacking mentality which on the eye is very entertaining. They have plenty of pace in the team are really good at counter-attacking into space. This probably won't be a great match up for them though because Odd are quite capable of sitting back themselves and have pretty strong defensive abilities. I do wonder whether the visitors might be a bit tired after playing extra time in the midweek cup. Some squad rotation did happen though, so the effect might not be so bad. Last month Glimt lost 1-2 at home to Brann and it was a fixture in which they were bullied physically. I do worry that the same could happen again here and that the experience and tactical nous of Odd will see them prevail. I'm surprised about the price of the home team here and it just shows the progress they have made for the bookies to be giving them so much respect. Glimt look a bit short to me around the 2.10 mark and any value is probably on Odd. But I'm happy just to watch this intriguing game and not get involved from a betting perspective.

Prediction: 1-2

Recommended bet: None

 

Norway Eliteserien – Rosenborg v Kristiansund Preview (29/6/19)

Match Preview

Anyone who is thinking of backing Rosenborg at this odds on price probably needs to think again. Yes, they had a period of winning three league matches in a row, but since then RBK have failed to beat OBOSligaen opposition twice in the cup, and lost away at Tromso. On Wednesday night they weren't so lucky against Aalesund, getting knocked out on penalties. The manager has surprisingly opted against much squad rotation. Everyone looks really tired and just not really up for it at the moment. A few players like Samuel Adegbenro have looked lively of late but mostly there is a malaise about this team. The one hope for RBK is that their opponents here Kristiansund have also had a difficult week at the office. The visitors were knocked out of the cup on Wednesday night after extra time. I certainly don't think they will have any fear travelling to this stadium though and it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if they got a result. I don't really see this game as a betting opportunity. If KBK came into the match fresh then I would consider taking them but overall I'm happy to leave this one alone.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: None

 

Norway Eliteserien – Brann v Lillestrøm Preview (23/6/19)

Match Preview

I’m fairly sure Brann will win this match, but the bookies are giving away absolutely nothing away on them here, offering a miserly -1.5 Asian Handicap. Brann have yet to win a match by more than a one goal margin in 2019 and as a general rule, don’t tend to rack up the score against anyone. Lillestrom aren’t a very good side in my opinion and they are missing their top striker and key man Thomas Lehne Olsen to injury until August. Without him upfront their goal threat definitely decreases. I got badly burned betting against LSK away at VIF a few weeks ago when they shockingly won 3-0. Despite playing well that day I think it will prove to be a ‘one off freak’ and not the sort of level they can consistently perform to. Brann really should have too much today but the same was said towards the back end of last season when they could only draw this same fixture 1-1. A logical prediction is a comfortable home win. But the real question is if you trust Brann to win by 2 clear goals or more? I personally don’t, so can’t justify betting on them.

Prediction: 2-0

Recommended bet: None

Norway Eliteserien – Kristiansund v Stabaek Preview (23/6/19)

Match Preview

Kristiansund are actually unbeaten in 7 straight league games, whilst Stabaek have lost 6 of their last 8 in the Eliteserien. Stabaek have a new coach Jon Jonsson but in his first match in charge I wasn’t particularly impressed as they lost 0-1 at home vs Tromso. But he needs to be given time and has a good track record, they could easily turn things around. I rate Kristiansund as a side but I think they have been lucky to draw their last two matches and have been ‘hanging on’ a bit. I never like them in the position as a heavy favourite, we often see them fail to deliver in these sort of situations where the expectation is on them to win. I could see this match ending something like a 1-1 draw and in terms of betting this is probably the hardest fixture of the day in the Eliteserien.

Prediction:1-1

Recommended bet: None

Norway Eliteserien – Viking v Bodø/Glimt Preview (23/6/19)

Match Preview

Bodø/Glimt v Viking

Last weekend was a very frustrating one for me in the Eliteserien. Somehow, my over 2.75 goals pick in the Bodø/Glimt vs Strømsgodset match contrived to end 2-0. There were numerous chances and in the last 15 mins two massive occasions were missed which would’ve secured the win. The obvious conclusion was yet another Glimt match which was great on the eye to watch and wide open at times. I definitely think that betting overs is worth pursuing in their fixtures. It is frustrating that only 5 of their 10 matches have gone over 2.5 this season. Of the games that went under, all of them contained exactly 2 goals! Glimt have been playing well and only suffered a couple of defeats this season. They continue to reside high in the table and confidence is clearly high in the camp.

This is definitely a matchup between two surprise packages this season. The majority of pundits expected both to be involved in a relegation battle in 2019. There is still plenty of time left this campaign but current signs are that neither will be having any problems towards the bottom of the table. Viking won 2-0 last weekend away at Lillestrøm. They were facing ten men for the majority of that contest but overall it was still a very convincing performance from the Stavanger club. A big positive for the promoted outfit has been their home form, in which they’ve picked up ten points from their four fixtures. The crowd has really been getting behind everyone and the attacking quartet of Tripic, Bytyqi Thorstvedt & Tommy Höiland seem to have very good chemistry.

At the time of writing, Viking are slight favourites on a DNB Asian Handicap line. This looks about fair and I’d say it’s quite difficult to predict an actual winner of this game. There would be a case to be made for both sides but one thing I really do fancy is goals. Viking certainly don’t hold back at home and are usually quite attack minded in any fixture to be honest. They have only been involved in a solitary 0-0 this season, which was a strange affair at Godset a month or so ago which just failed to ignite. In a similar way to Glimt, their over 2.5 % isn’t as high as it should be, but again a massive 40% of their matches have contained exactly two goals! Both of these sides are due a game with an abundance of goals, so I think it’s worth going for the bigger line of over 3 as a pick. This really should be a high tempo end to end type match and hopefully this time the players do their job of actually finishing chances instead of wasting them.

Prediction: 2-2

Recommended bet: Over 3 goals @2.07