Vålerenga v Bodø/Glimt
The fairytale continues for Bodø/Glimt as they beat Odd 3-0 on Sunday in what was dubbed a crucial ‘challengers’ clash towards the top of the table. Glimt are now up to second and have a couple of games in hand over Molde who are top. It is quite remarkable that the pre-season relegation favourites are still performing so well, but the momentum this team has is unquestionable. Glimt play a fantastic attacking style and key players out wide Layouni & Evjen are in great form. It’s clear there is a great togetherness within the squad and the chemistry between certain players is like an unbreakable bond. The key strength to this side has been it’s attacking play. They’ve scored 28 goals, only Molde (with 33) have getting anywhere near that sort of tally and have played two extra games.
This is set to be a really interesting fixture because Vålerenga are one of those teams who can either be brilliant, or absolutely awful! Ronny Deila’s men returned to form at the weekend by hammering Haugesund 4-1 away from home. This was perhaps a surprise but the current VIF outfit can very quickly go from one extreme to another. The Oslo side are very confidence-driven and winning so well in the previous round could make them quite a dangerous animal. Key to their recent results have been the form of attacker Bård Finne. He has been in and out of the side all season and his level of play can be quite streaky, but nobody can deny he was excellent against Haugesund. Finne has a high level of skill at this level but lacks consistency and can randomly go missing from time to time. VIF have some other fine attackers such as Ejuke, Shala & Vilhjalmsson, who if in the mood can be extremely destructive.
I’m not sure who is going to win this game because I anticipate it being an end to end type shootout. Vålerenga are currently favourites between a -0.25 and DNB Asian Handicap line, which actually looks quite generous. According to my estimations, the home team should be much shorter, around the even-money mark -0.5 Asian Handicap. Glimt have to given plenty of respect but I now think we are getting to a stage of overreaction. They are good, but not ‘that’ good. On paper, VIF still have a better side and there is no doubt that they are statistical value here. However, whether they can be trusted is a different matter entirely. Bodø/Glimt are red hot at the moment and can cause plenty of problems to a defence which might be missing three players due to injury in Juarez, Nation & Nasberg. For me, the obvious pick is over 2.75 goals due to the sheer nature of both attack forces. For those who want to be greedy then over 3 or over 3.5 could be worth betting on as well. This could end something wild like a 2-2 draw or a 3-2 victory either way.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.75 goals at 1.900
Brann v Mjøndalen
A 1-1 draw away at Molde last week just about kept Brann in the title race. They rode their luck to somehow lead 1-0 with 10 mins left, but eventually succumbed to an equaliser. However, there will also be a tinge of regret as they themselves missed a couple of huge late chances to get the 3 points. In terms of the performance over the whole 90 mins though, I have to say they were quite disappointing. Brann have been too inconsistent this season and blown hot or cold. Signs have been better in recent times but the lack of clean sheets – just two so far in 2019 have been an achilles heel. After a few surprising ‘over’ matches at the start of the season, we have seen the last 4 consecutive, and 6 the last 8 Brann fixtures all end under 2.5. This is reverting more towards their form of last season and I personally don’t expect this match to be very wide open either.
Statistically, Mjøndalen have stemmed the flow of goals against them compared to the nightmares they encountered at the start of the campaign. However, MIF have still only kept one clean sheet all season, and even that was extremely fortunate against Stabaek. Their last three matches have all ended 1-1 and on another day each of those contests could easily have gone over 2.5. I expect the visitors to travel here with quite a negative gameplan. They will slow the game down whenever they can and look to time waste, whilst also making the most of set pieces – from which they are extremely dangerous. Brann actually match up to them quite well physically though so should be able to thwart most of the Mjøndalen attacks. The visitors have racked up a few draws of late but are winless in seven games and now find themselves inside the bottom three.
I certainly don’t think this will be a very pretty game on the eye. If you want free-flowing attacking fancy football along the deck then this definitely isn’t the sort of match for you! However, I do expect Brann to find a way to win. They managed to grind out a 1-0 success against Lillestrøm in their most recent home game, but had they taken their chances then something like 2-0 or 3-0 would’ve been a more accurate reflection. Mjøndalen are a limited outfit who lack the quality at this level. I personally don’t see them scoring unless they bag something from a set piece. Brann know they really can’t afford to drop points in a game like this and I’m expecting them to be focused on the job in hand. I have to admit backing Brann -1.25 is often fraught with danger with them having a high tendency to win by exactly one goal. But their extra quality should logically shine through here and give them a decent chance of covering the whole handicap.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Brann -1.25 at 1.950
Preview by: @meatmansoccer.