Monthly Archives: September 2019

France Ligue 2 – Guingamp v Le Preview (30/9/19)

Match Preview

Guingamp recently sacked Patrice Lair after their fairly disappointing start to the season. I have no problems with Lair as a tactician or technical coach but his man management abilities and also dealings with the boardroom of clubs is questionable. If it was true he had lost the dressing room then it was the right decision to fire him. What’s left is a team that should be up there challanening for promotion. On paper, only Lens have more strength in depth and ultimately I would expect to see EAG rise up the table. Interim boss is Sylvain Didot who had a decent playing career in French football and has been working behind the scenes in coaching for over half a dozen years now. Maybe he can start to bring the best out of this group of players.

This would appear to be a very winnable match for the hosts facing a Le Mans side that has lost 7 out of 8 fixtures. They aren’t as bad as their record might suggest but we can’t now ignore the amount of games they’ve suffered defeat in. It’s become almost a habit and I’m especially concerned how much they panic when behind in a fixture. It seems like Le Mans just open themselves up way too much when chasing a game and the 18 goals they've conceded is by far the most in the league. I don’t think their coach Richards Dezire is under any pressure just yet, he has plenty of credit in the bank with this club following successful promotions. But they need to sort themselves out from a defensive point of view otherwise there will be trouble.

The obvious pick for the game is over 2.25 goals. There are more question marks surrounding Guingamp with a change of manager but unless Le Mans suddenly start to park the bus and make themselves hard to break down then there will be plenty of opportunities for the hosts to take advantage of. Le Mans themselves should be willing to have a go and we have seen EAG fairly poor at the back themselves this term. The stats show that 5 out of 8 Guingamp games have contained at least 2 goals, whilst 6/8 Le Mans fixtures have ended over 2.5. This bet is an obvious play to me and it should be quite an open encounter.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet: Over 2.25 goals @1.84

 

Norway Eliteserien – Viking v Mjøndalen Preview (30/9/19)

Match Preview

Viking are flying! The Stavanger side have picked up 14 points from their last 6 fixtures. They are also into the Norwegian Cup semi finals and will face Ranheim next month. It has been a really good return to the Eliteserien after such a disappointing 2017 campaign. Quite how high Viking will finish I’m not sure but relegation isn’t going to be a concern so they can end the campaign with not much pressure on their shoulders, plus the prospect of potential cup success. Central to their form this season has been some really strong home results where they possess a 6-3-2 record. Mjondalen are struggling somewhat and now find themselves third bottom of the league. It just feels to me like they are heading on a downward spiral and I suspect they will lose again here. Viking played 120 mins in the cup on Thursday night but should’ve had sufficient time to recover. Mjondalen themselves were in cup action on Wednesday and lost at home to Haugesund. Viking can be backed at nearly evens just to win on the nose and this is a good enough price for me. I personally think they should be -0.75 and much shorter favourites to prevail.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet: Viking -0.5 @1.95

 

Norway Eliteserien – Bodø/Glimt v Tromsø Preview (29/9/19)

Match Preview

I’m really looking forward to this derby of the north because it matters so much to both teams. Bodo will know the result of the Molde match by kick off here. There is every chance they could be as far as 8 points adrift of top spot. Forgetting about what happens in that Molde match, Glimt absolutely must take victory today to get back on track. It’s been a sloppy period recently and only late equalisers vs Stabaek and Ranheim have enabled them to avoid defeat. Those are matches which Bodo/Glimt should be winning with ease though and they clearly dropped points in both of those fixtures. The loss of key playmaker Amor Layouni to the Eyptian league recently will hit them hard. You could see the lack of creativity against Ranheim and going forward I’m sure it will limit them again.

Tromso arrive here in poor form and hovering only just above the relegation zone. They have only won 1 of their last 8 games and continually keep shipping in goals at an alarming rate. TIL have conceded 44 times this season which is a staggering average of 2 per game! The away team has a good record in this fixture but Glimt have dominated them in recent times, although included in that are numerous friendlies. These two teams know each other extremely well so there will be no surprises. I think Tromso are going to have to be extremely effective or very lucky to get a result here. However, the thing with derby matches is that strange things can happen. I like the idea of goals and a Bodo win, but the asian lines are hovering between -1 and -1.25. The goal line is between 3 and 3.25 as well. If Layouni was still around then I would take the over but there is too much of a risk something like 2-1 or even 1-1 develops.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet: None

 

Norway Eliteserien – Kristiansund v Haugesund Preview (29/9/19)

Match Preview

Kristiansund had a poor summer winning just 1 match out of 9 between mid May and late August. But they have since hit back really strongly by taking 10 points from their last 4 games. KBK have a knack of finishing the season strongly in recent years, so perhaps the same will happen again. Key to their recent improvement has been the return of striker Flamur Kastrati from injury and the addition of new attacker Amahl Pellegrino. The latter never really managed to establish himself at Stromsgodset but definitely fits in really well at Kristiansund.Just having better finishes and more creative players in attack has given them a different dimension and a seemingly improved mentality. KBK have really impressed me with some of their recent performances. The last home match only ended 1-0 vs Brann but they totally dominated them in the first half, unlucky not to score 3 or 4 goals that is how in control they were.

Haugesund travel here having drawn their last two league matches 0-0. FKH have produced more stalemates (4) than any other Eliteseiren side this season and it kind of sums up their problem - scoring goals. It wasn’t such an issue earlier in the campaign when Ibrahima Wadji was around, but since he got banned for drugs usage then they’ve at times looked toothless. Haugesund have been relying on Ibrahima Kone and Martin Samuelsen in the centre forward spot but neither are a classy option in that position. FKH have a small squad and injury/absences have certainly had an affect on the tam in 2019 Right back Mikkel Desler, who has been one of the best in his position across the entire league this year is suspended for this trip to Kristiansund.

I don’t think Haugesund are a bad team by any means but I just feel that KBK are playing better football right now. They appear to have more momentum and in a real good headspace mentally. I am expecting the home side to continue their good form by picking up another 3 points this weekend. The price on KBK is an attractive 2.04 on a -0.25 Asian Handicap line which looks too big. I certainly think Christian Michelsen’s men should be around the same price just to win straight on the nose. With Haugesund seemingly misfiring upfront it might only take one or two goals to secure victory so the value definitely looks to be on the hosts for this one.

Prediction: 2-0

Recommended bet: Kristiansund -0.25 @2.05

 

Norway Eliteserien – Strømsgodset v Odd Preview (29/9/19)

Match Preview

Stromsgodset have really found some form under the management of Henrik Pedersen. He has gradually made them a much better outfit and won for the first time away last week by beating Tromso 1-0. I have been impressed with how solid the team are defensively recently and they are no longer easy to break down compared to earlier in the season. Winning on the road was such a bonus for SIF because here at home they have been good for a while, winning their last 3 contests now at Marienlyst. I wouldn’t be betting against them here against anyone, in fact I actually think taking the hosts DNB is some value this weekend. 

Odd have been up there challenging for the medal spots all season but a constant achilles heel has been their away record. They only have 2-3-5 statistics on the road and it’s been a while since they last managed a victory on their travels. Considering how much better Godset are of late I really think they are going to be in for a tough game of football. I would personally have SIF as slight favourites for this game but instead Odd are given that honour. I have been disappointed with their away play for far too long now and at worst I think Godset can avoid defeat. Taking Pedersen’s men on a DNB handicap is my bet for the game and I think they can continue their momentum in this one. 

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet: Stromsgodset DNB @2.14

 

Norway Eliteserien – Sarpsborg v Stabaek Preview (29/9/19)

Match Preview

Sarpsborg beat Valerenga 1-0 in their previous home match and I thought it was something they might kick on from. However, they produced a stinker last week to lose 0-3 away at Odd. Ok, that is not an easy place to go but I expected more from Sarpsborg and it was if they took two steps back. As a result, they find themselves bottom of the table with only 8 games left. Sarpsborg have been impressive at home in terms of performance this season, even if the results haven’t always been desirable. They absolutely must make it count here against a Stabaek side that are hard to beat, but nothing special. The visitors have some slight breathing space above the drop zone but will be mindful a defeat here puts them back under a lot of pressure. Sarpsborg are odds-on favourites around the 1.80 mark. I’m not saying this is poor value because on paper their squad is still littered with plenty of quality. But could you trust a side that have won just 3 times all season? I think we might see Geir Bakke’s men sneak a close victory but I certainly won’t be putting any money on them.

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: None

 

Norway Eliteserien – Vålerenga v Ranheim Preview (29/9/19)

Match Preview

Valerenga are in a real funk. They are winless in 8 games and lost 4 of their last 5. Last week’s defeat 0-4 at home to Viking was embarrassing and something has to dramatically change soon otherwise they could get sucked into a relegation battle. I am not impressed with the job Ronny Deila has been doing here. Much more is expected and it’s difficult to see long term how he stays in the job. Valerenga will surely have enough to keep their head above water but a defeat in this contest would see Ranheim close to within four points of VIF. The visitors themselves are struggling for form though and only won 1 of their last 12. Ranheim at least have the comfort in the Norwegian Cup where they have made it through to the semi finals following a midweek 3-0 victory. They are the minnows of this league and probably most people’s favourites to get directly relegated this season.

I honestly have no clue what will happen in this match. Absolutely nothing would surprise me and no result can be ruled out. Neither seems capable of winning right now, so maybe a draw? I have to believe at some stage Valerenga will ‘come good’ again but until we see proper evidence of it on the field they are unbackable. Would you really want to take the hosts at such a short 1.80 odds-on price here considering their recent form? It’d be a brave thing to do. VIF will be without right back Juarez who is suspended, whilst Herolind Shala is another banned. Ranheim will have to do without winger Eirik Tonne who is a casualty until the end of the season. Perhaps the most tempting bet here would be over 2.75 goals. Sometimes in these sort of games both teams fancy the win, leading to an open contest. I think there are way too many question marks all round though and see it as a clear no bet match.

Prediction: 2-2

Recommended bet: None

 

Norway Eliteserien – Molde v Lillestrøm Preview (29/9/19)

Match Preview

Molde are now 5 points clear at the top of the table and are unbeaten in 11 Eliteserien games. MFK have won 8 of those contests and it looks like they are heading towards the gold medal. They have a few tricky fixtures coming up soon though so can ill afford any sort of slip up in a game such as this one. Nobody has beaten Molde at the Aker Stadion yet this season and they possess an 8-2-0 record, outscoring their opponents 26-6 in the process. The hosts will be missing two elements of their attack due to suspension, Magnus Wolff Eikrem & Ohi Omoijuanfo. Neither of them have looked that great recently though and many would argue that Molde will cope just fine without this duo on the field. The likes of Leke James, Fredrik Aursnes & Erling Knudtzon have been playing well of late and MFK have excellent depth in all areas of the field.

Lillestrom travel here in 10th spot and they are five points clear of the relegation zone. You would think that overall they have enough to stay in this division but can blow very hot or cold. This season they have generally obtained most of their points against teams around them in the bottom half of the table. LSK’s record vs the top seven in 2019 is appalling! Played 11, lost 9 and drawn 2. They have been really poor against sides of higher class which doesn’t bode well for them ahead of this weekend. Of those 9 losses, 7 have been by at least a two goal margin which suggests they can’t even stay close to some of the bigger boys. I’m personally expecting Molde to win this match fairly comfortably either 3-0 or 3-1. The obvious pick is to take them on a -1.25 Asian Handicap. I mentioned how Lillestrom tend to get beaten fairly well by anyone decent and the trend will probably continue here.

Prediction: 3-0

Recommended bet: Molde -1.25 (asian) @1.88

 

Norway Eliteserien – Rosenborg v Brann Preview (28/9/19)

Match Preview

Rosenborg had a nightmare start to the season but have really improved as the year has progressed. RBK are unbeaten in ten Eliteserien games and won 10 of their last 14 contests. That sort of form is title challenging ability but unfortunately Eirik Horneland’s men find themselves 10 points adrift of Molde. With only 8 games remaining that sort of gap is unrealistic to make up but with Odd and Bod/Glimt both stuttering of late some people might even make RBK favourites for the silver medal. The Trondheim outfit have won seven straight home games which isn’t too much of a surprise. The Lerkendal Stadion has been a fortress down the years. What has been impressive is how dominant they’ve been in some of these fixtures. On a number of occasions they've seen off the opposition by at least a two goal margin and fired in 23 goals in those aforementioned 7 games.

Brann travel here this weekend in poor form. They have only won 1 of their last 5 games and lost 3 of those encounters. It was around this time last season when results got worse for them and it looks like a similar pattern is developing again. The problem is the Brann squad lacks quality depth. As soon as there are significant injuries to their man starters then problems develop. In midfield key players like Ordagic, Haugen & Strand (inj) are probably ruled out here whilst Yttergard Jensen is suspended. Another player banned is striker Douada Bamba, and just to make matters worse inspirational captain Vito Wormgoor is rated doubtful. Brann look especially toothless in attack at the moment and devoid of ideas but I think they have problems across the whole pitch ahead of this game.

Rosenborg welcome PSV Eindhoven to the Lerkendal Stadion on Thursday night in the Europa League. Perhaps there might be half an eye on that match but I would imagine the majority of the focus will be on Brann right here right now. This is a big game between two massive rivals and Rosenborg will be keen to continue their good form in the Eliteserien. It’s hard to see how Brann get close to them in my opinion. Rosenborg are simply playing far better football at the moment and I’m expecting a comfortable home win. Backing RBK on a -1 Asian Handicap makes a lot of sense and is a logical selection. The one downside about Rosenborg recently has been a lack of clean sheets but even they might keep one here against a misfiring Brann. I see something like a 3-0 or 3-1 home victory and Rosenborg look like a safe pick this weekend.

Prediction: 3-0

Recommended bet: Rosenborg -1 (asian)  @1.83

 

France Ligue 2 – Troyes v Orleans Preview (27/9/19)

Match Preview

We are still waiting for Orleans to win a game of football this season but they have shown signs of improvement recently. The 2-2 draw last week vs Le Havre and 3-3 at Rodez have been the most encouraging signs for them. The main problem for Orleans this season has been a failure to score goals and they’ve fired blanks in 6 of their 8 contests. Maybe things are starting to change and I don’t think it’ll be too long before we see them win. However they might have to wait until next week because it seems unlikely that USO could come to Troyes and take all 3 points tonight. I wouldn’t rule it out but ESTAC have won four straight games and are playing quite well under the management of Laurent Battles. The squad is in good condition and recent form is the reason why Troyes are 1.70 favourites to win this match. I’m not going to back them because there doesn’t seem to be much value. I also liked the idea of taking over 2 or 2.25 goals, but the price isn’t tempting enough. I suspect we shall see an open game of football which Troyes edge overall.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet: None