Mjøndalen v Stabaek

The Mjøndalen defence finally looked somewhat competent last week away at Sarpsborg as they managed to graft out a 1-1 draw. This was entirely deserved and they had a really good gameplan against surprisingly flat oppaonents. The physical element of their side caused Sarpsborg some issues and I have to say Mjøndalen’s game management was really good, albeit quite negative with time wasting and fake injuries etc. Ultimately, they were a big underdog in that match and did what they needed to in order to obtain a favourable result. But I do think we will look back on that fixture and see it as quite an anomaly. For the most part, MIF have leaked chances and goals left right and centre and I expect that to continue against Stabaek this weekend.

The visitors should come in here fairly confident mood after beating Bodø/Glimt 2-0 at home last week. They have seven points on the board, all of which have been obtained at their own Nadderud Stadion. On the road it’s been a different story as Henning Berg’s men have lost 0-3 against both Molde & Haugesund respectively. This can’t be much of a surprise because Stabaek had the worst away record in the whole Eliteserien last season, winning just once on their travels. There is no doubt they will eye this trip to Mjøndalen as potentially winnable though, so should come here with a positive mindset. Star striker Franck Boli scored a brace last week and there are signs that he could be finding the sort of form which saw him win the Eliteserien golden boot in 2018.

I seem to write about Mjøndalen every week in this article but I can’t get away from the betting lure of their fixtures! The pick I like in this game is over 2.75 goals. Both should fancy taking victory which will automatically lead to an open game of football. Physically, both sides are a total mismatch in many different ways which should aid goalscoring. Stabaek have an abundance of pace which could cause MIF all sorts of problems, Equally though, the hosts will be using their strong physicality to fine effect. I could easily see Mjøndalen scoring at least one goal from a set piece in this fixture. It’s no real surprise to see MIF as -0.25 Asian Handicap favourites here. But in a similar way it was the exact same prior to them facing Tromsø here a couple of weeks ago I feel there is too much unreliability within the team to rely on them to win. Something like a 2-2 draw wouldn’t surprise me and I’m expecting a fairly wild encounter giving the over 2.75 goals pick a very good chance of landing.

Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.75 goals at 1.900

Brann v Ranheim

It has been a real mixed bag from Brann so far this year. They have been all over the place with results and inconsistency but will be pleased to win 2-1 away at Tromsø last weekend. I would say it was their most controlled performance of the season and a deserved victory. The only blemish was conceding a goal and that seems to be a common theme for the Bergen outfit this year. Their defence, which was at times totally watertight in 2018 has suddenly looked more vulnerable and yet to keep a clean sheet. However, there were signs at Tromsø that things are improving due to the amount of overall chances they restricted their opponents to. This will be a good chance for them to obtain a first shutout of 2019 facing one of the worst teams in the league.

Ranheim finally got their season motoring last week by hammering Viking 5-2 at home. But it felt like they got goals handed to them on a plate or scored some unlikely strikes. For the majority of the campaign RIL have really struggled to create chances and I think they will revert back to their usual norm this weekend. Brann should dominate this match from start to finish it’s just a case of them producing a full clinical performance for 90 mins with no lapses. Team selection has been one issue where Brann haven’t quite got things right. There hasn’t been enough consistency within the XI although some would say the positive aspect is there is more competition for places. New signings Petter Strand & Veton Berisha have looked strong acquisitions. Brann need to get the likes of Gilbert Koomson & Daouda Bamba firing if they can, rather than rely on big lumps like Azar Karadas to come on with 15 mins left in at attempt to change the game.

Brann don’t seem ultra-reliable at the moment but they should have too much for Ranheim here. The gulf in class will likely show over the course of the 90 mins and Brann should kick on from their win last weekend. Ranheim will of course be full of confidence after such a fine win themselves vs Viking, but this will be a much tougher test for them in all aspects. I’m fairly sure Brann will win, it’s just a question by what margin. Taking them on a -1.25 Asian Handicap looks to be the best bet. I would like to think the home team are finally capable of keeping a clean sheet here and bring into play the 2-0 or 3-0 correct score. I’m slightly concerned by a potential 2-1 result but even if Brann do concede a goal they have the potential to score 3 or maybe 4 themselves. Even with the scenario of a one goal win, this pick would only half lose anyway so the -1.25 Asian handicap makes sense.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Brann -1.25 at 1.930

Preview by: @meatmansoccer.

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