Monthly Archives: July 2020

Norway Eliteserien – Rosenborg v Viking Preview (30/7/20)

Match Preview

Rosenborg have finally lost a game under the management of interim coach Trond Henriksen as they went down 0-1 vs Haugesund on Sunday. RBK recently announced that Henriksen would be in charge for the remainder of the season whilst they search for a long term suitable candidate for the top job. They have looked better since he took charge with motivation, drive and general edge improved but the same problem seems to remain for RBK and that is scoring and creating enough chances. Signing Torgeir Børven will help them but I think they have to accept that it’s either him or Dino Islamovic upfront, having them in the same team in this system isn’t going to work.

Islamovic is suspended for this game anyway, as is midfielder Kristoffer Zachariassen who has been their best player so far in 2020. A few games ago this would have looked like a home win but Viking have dramatically improved. They’ve kept two clean sheets in a row and beaten Haugesund and Sarpsborg 2-0 and 3-0 respectively. I can’t really put my finger on what has changed exactly but maybe something just clicked. This Viking squad was always too good to simply just struggle down in the lower reaches of the table anyway. 

Under 3 goals definitely tempts me here. Rosenborg just never seem to be involved in many high scoring contests these days and actually only one of their matches has contained over 3 goals this season (facing Glimt 2-3). RBK do have a solid defence which can be difficult to penetrate and Viking haven’t been the most free scoring side this year. I just haven’t seen much recently that suggests that this match will explode so when the goal line is this high I cannot resist taking some of the under. A fairer sort of goal line is probably 2.5 so this is a bit way off, likely due to reputation and perception.

Prediction: 1-1

Recommended bet: Under 3 goals @1.79

Norway Eliteserien – Stabaek v Bodø/Glimt Preview (30/7/20)

Match Preview

Bodø/Glimt are magnificent 10/10 after beating Molde 3-1 on Sunday. This gave them a five point breathing space heading into this round and to be honest the world appears to be their oyster right now. Molde are the only other side in this league capable of pushing them close, so to see them off fairly convincingly has to be a major boost to everyone. Glimt have a lot of quality in this squad but they are also very well managed and in fantastic physical condition. The crazy thing is that Glimt have actually scored more goals on the road where they seem highly efficient. I don’t even think the best of defences could stop this attack from scoring right now. Stabaek are no mugs but I’d be surprised if they have the tools to match up with the table toppers in a midweek affair.

Stabaek are an inconsistent side and only lost twice all season. Those defeats were to Molde and Rosenborg (1-4 and 0-3) and both also happened to be on the back of just four days of rest. I don’t think this Stabaek team is particularly well built for multiple matches in a week. They can get away with it facing the likes of Aalesund but it will be very difficult for them to match Glimt physically in this encounter. There are some doubts surrounding the fitness of visiting key striker Kapser Junker but Boniface could come in and do a job for them if required. Stabaek could be dangerous on the counter attack with the likes of Hansen and Vetelsen running in behind.

I expect this to be an open game. We know what Bodø/Glimt are like and they’ll just attack all day long with their high tempo and pressing. Until we see signs of them running out of gas then it’s probably best to keep backing overs in their matches. I don’t think Stabaek have the defensive resources to make things difficult enough. Janne Johnsen will know that in order to pick up points here they are going to have to score goals themselves. You could back Glimt on a -1 handicap but over 3.5 goals is probably safer in case of a 2-2 draw or something like a 2-3 victory. If there is one slight alarm for Bodø/Glimt supporters then it’s the fact they’ve failed to win any of the last four H2Hs meetings with Stabaek. But they are at a different level now so I expect that to change in their favour.

Prediction: 1-3

Recommended bet: Over 3.5 goals @2.05

Norway Eliteserien – Molde v Vålerenga Preview (29/7/20)

Match Preview

Molde lost for the first time this season when they went down to Bodø/Glimt 3-1 on Sunday. That was a big top of the table clash and as a result they find themselves 5 points off top of the table. Glimt look unstoppable right now and all Molde can do is hang in there and hope they drop some points. Molde have won 8 out of 10 matches in the Eliteserien this season and are a top side who are a class above everyone else bar Glimt right now. It is worth noting that there has been a hangover for most teams after losing to Bodø/Glimt this year but Molde have the squad depth to cope with any fatigue and stuff. I have to say there was a questionable team selection by coach Erling Moe on Sunday, for example why was Leke James left out? Molde still have issues defensively with injuries and guys playing out of position but they have so much strength offensively.

Travelling here today are a Vålerenga side 3rd in the table. New coach Dag Eilev Fagermo has gotten the most out of this team but I think they have been lucky not to concede more goals. A lot of teams they’ve faced recently simply haven’t been able to convert their chances but Molde are unlikely to be as poor in front of goal. There are injury doubts for VIF with the likes of Bjordal, Adekugbe, Shala and Lekven all questionable for this match. Fagermo had a good record against Molde last season drawing with them twice 2-2. He will put up a good fight here but they probably fall short. I see this as a match in which both teams score but Molde win something like 2-1. From a betting point of view the Molde -1 Asian Handicap and over 3.25 goals feels too high a line to get involved in.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet: None

Norway Eliteserien – Strømsgodset v Brann Preview (29/7/20)

Match Preview

Strømsgodset just haven’t been taking their chances recently and as a result are in the middle of a sticky run. Just 1 win in 7 games isn’t a very good return and this is a testing phase for manager Henrik Pedersen. The team just isn’t clicking at the moment and ultimately their lack of defensive options due to injury and just a general lack of quality is probably hindering them too much. Godset have only kept once clean sheet all season which is a very poor return and something which needs to improve in the future. I could see the likes of Salvesen and Mawa having some good games soon though. They have been getting into some good positions and opportunities have fallen their way, just not converted.

Brann must have some terrible memories of this fixture last season when they lost at Marienlyst 0-6! The visitors look like the better side heading into this contest though and should probably be targeting the 3 points. Inconsistency has plagued Brann this season and more recently lack of finishing has been costly. They should have beaten both Start and Kristiansund but misses from the likes of Bamba especially mean they had to accept just draws out of those fixtures. I actually think over 2.5 goals could be a good bet and I suspect this will be quite an end to end game containing chances. However, the price is poor and whether the attack force of either team can be trusted is debatable.

Prediction: 2-2

Recommended bet: None

Norway Eliteserien – Sarpsborg v Haugesund Preview (29/7/20)

Match Preview

Sarpsborg have probably become the most boring and uninteresting side to watch in the Eliteserien. Mikael Stahre’s 3-4-3 formation sometimes reverts to 5-4-1 system and their matches don’t tend to be very end to end or exciting. Stahre is generally effective but they have run into problems when the defence has a bad day. That happened at the weekend when Viking thrashed them 3-0 and Sarpsborg put in what was probably their worst performance of the season. At least #S08 have three victories to their name but they’ve only beaten the likes of Sandefjord, Start and Odd. I don’t think this is a particularly good team and the main strength is an ability to keep things generally tight.

Haugesund travel here as the lowest scoring side in the league but they did beat Rosenborg 1-0 on Sunday. That result ended a run of 3 consecutive defeats and moved them back into the midtable range. Haugesund have also lacked firepower this season but the return of Ibrahima Wadji from his year long doping ban appeared to give them a different dimension upfront. He offers a strong physical presence and a decent level of finishing. Even if Wadji starts again I think this is a clear under 2.25 goals pick though. The main strength of both teams is at the back and neither seem to score very freely. This is a 0-0 candidate which I expect to be dominated by defence.

Prediction: 0-0

Recommended bet: UNDER 2.25 goals @1.96

Norway Eliteserien – Mjøndalen v Odd Preview (29/7/20)

Match Preview

Mjøndalen have now lost 5 games in a row and as a result find themselves inside the relegation zone. They haven’t been that bad during this period but a lack of goals and a string of unfortunate events seem to have hit them hard. MIF are almost finding ways to lose games and their lack of a proper plan B or C is perhaps hindering them. Manager Vegard Hansen is still doing a very good job here, let’s not forget on paper they are limited compared to most sides in the Eliteserien. But their physical and direct play can have its ceiling. Little breaks of the ball haven’t gone their way, chances not converted and set pieces not quote falling to the right people. This will change at some point but I think it has to be concerning they lost to the likes of Godset and Sandefjord recently.

Odd have found some form of late winning 3 of their last 4 games. I don’t think they are as good as their league position suggests though and my main concern is regarding firepower. Odd clearly missed Torgeir Børven after he departed to Rosenborg and they’ve just been hit by the broken leg of Tobias Lauritsen who will probably be out of action until at least November or even the whole season. Musha Bakenga was signed a few weeks ago and is now going to forced into employment. But he’s not the clinical type of finisher they require and far too injury prone. Mjøndalen actually won this fixture 2-0 last season and I wouldn’t be surprised if they got some points again tonight.

The bet I like is under 2.5 goals. This is going to be a physical sort of bitty contest between a couple of teams who lack firepower. I don’t think we shall see a 0-0 because someone will probably score from a set piece or something. But this doesn’t strike me as the sort of fixture which will explode into life or anything.

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: UNDER 2.5 goals @1.99

Norway Eliteserien – Kristiansund v Sandefjord Preview (29/7/20)

Match Preview

Kristiansund have gone off the boil a bit recently. They are winless in 6 games and now rooted to midtable. It’s hard to say exactly what’s gone wrong but they have faced some tough opposition during this period. Now they have a much more manageable looking game vs Sandefjord. Goals have slightly dried up of late which is of concern and key man Amahl Pellegrino is rated doubtful due to injury here. The manager might not risk him in a fixture like this one. KBK are usually strong at home but have only won once here so far this season. They have got to be willing to be patient here and might have to accept having more of the ball than usual. Head coach Christian Michelsen prefers a counter attacking system but I could see Sandefjord sitting deep trying to frustrate.

I really have to give huge credit to Marti Cifuentes who has got the most out of this poor looking Sandefjord squad. They have the worst team on paper in the entire division but he’s managed to wrangle 10 points out of them so far. Sandefjord have picked up crucial victories facing both Aalaeund and Mjøndalen recently which will have filled them with confidence. The squad is small and sometimes struggled with the midweek fixtures though whereas KBK have a ton of depth and can heavily rotate if needed. Ultimately I think this ends up as a home win but it might not be easy so odds of 1.60 don’t really interest me. Sandefjord will fight hard and even if they lose it might only be by one goal or something.

Prediction:

Recommended bet: None

Norway Eliteserien – Aalesund v Start Preview (29/7/20)

Match Preview

Here we have a meeting between the bottom two teams in the Eliteserien. Both Aalesund and Start remain winless after 10 games which is a nightmare after their promotion. Much more was expected of Aalesund especially but Lars Bohinen just can’t see to get anything to work. The major problem for AFK is conceding goals. Incredibly, they’ve shipped in 32 so far at an average of 3.2 per game which is crazy. I have to say that at this stage I have no faith in this defence and I don’t think Bohinen is going to be able to fix it very easily. Aalesund need to re-find their scoring boots and hope to beat someone 2-1 or 3-2 because there is no way they look capable of keeping a clean sheet.

Start have major problems at the other end and can’t seem to hit the back of the net. Only Haugesund have netted less than their measly 8 goal tally. One thing Start have done well recently though is become hard to beat. The visitors head into this match on the back of three consecutive draws facing RBK, Brann and Stabaek. This is perhaps surprising but they’ve dug in and fought for everything. If only just a few more chances have been taken and they might have won 1 or 2 of those games. These sort of matches either explode into something wild or are cagey and tight. I honestly can’t make up my mind although I suspect both will have a proper go at winning. Maybe something like a 2-2 draw to still keep both without a victory?

Prediction: 2-2

Recommended bet: None

Norway Eliteserien – Haugesund v Rosenborg Preview (26/7/20)

Match Preview

It’s been a real struggle for Haugesund so far in 2020. They are hovering only just above the relegation zone and their only victories have been facing the likes of Start and Sandefjord. The biggest issue for FKH is scoring goals. They’ve only netted 6 times in 9 games which is actually the worst of anyone in the entire division. The defence has mostly been solid apart from taking a 6-1 battering away at Glimt, which we can almost excuse. There is a ray of light though. Key striker Ibrahima Wadji is back after serving his 1 year doping ban and with him upfront it gives them a lot more presence. Whether or not he starts today I’m not sure but it will be a great boost to the side to have him back.

Rosenborg travel here much improved in terms of results but they are still lacking a cutting edge. RBK could only draw 0-0 away against Start and put in a laboured display at home to Sandefjord last time out despite winning 2-1. Some good news for Rosenborg is that they will be strengthened in midfield with Anders Trondsen set for a starting spot soon and also new signing Per Ciljan Skelbred now ready to play for the club again 9 years since he left. The striker issue of Børven and Islamovic remains a conundrum and the simple fact is that Rosenborg don’t really create enough away from home.

I anticipate a low scoring match which is quite physical. You would probably back Rosenborg to get the win maybe with one moment of class or a set piece, but I couldn’t say so with any assurity. Under 2.5 goals would maybe be a good pick but the price looks poor.

Prediction: 0-1

Recommended bet: None

Norway Eliteserien – Viking v Sarpsborg Preview (26/7/20)

Match Preview

It hasn’t been a great season for Viking so far. They’ve only won a couple of games but at least one of those came in the last round away at Haugesund (2-0). There have been a few reasons why they haven’t done as well this year. Too much inconsistency with team selection, injuries and a bunch of other things. I feel like they are trending upwards though. An unfortunate defeat to Odd at home was followed up by a 5-0 battering at Molde, but even in that game there were positive signs. Now that they finally got 3 points again maybe they can look forward and get on a good run. Plenty of uncertainty remains about a number of players regarding injuries. 

Sarpsborg have steadied the ship after a very poor start which saw them lose their first five games. They have since beaten the likes of Sandefjord, Start and Odd. I think it’s been fortunate that they’ve faced some low scoring teams of late and had a softer fixture list. Maybe today is another soft game though because Viking haven’t exactly been tearing up any trees. I don’t see this being a particularly great game and under 2.5 goals catches my eye as a potential bet. However, Viking home matches have generally been more open this season and I sense they will try and impose themselves here.

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: None