Vålerenga v Lillestrøm

Here we have a big Oslo derby between a couple of old rivals who hate each other. This is usually a spicy sort of fixture which is good to watch but I think for the first time in a while there is quite a big gulf between the two teams in terms of class. Vålerenga sit 3rd in the table and have won 3 of their last 4 games. Recent successes vs Ranheim & Stromsgodset have been really impressive. Ok, some might say neither of those teams are anything special, but Lillestrøm are equally in that same sort of poor category. When Vålerenga are at their best there might be no other side better on the eye in the Eliteserien this season. They have some great attackers who clearly have an excellent connection with each other. The likes of Ejuke, Shala & Vilhjalmsson have looked excellent of late and when you also throw into the mixer Bard Finne & Aron Donnem, suddenly this VIF side has a ton of explosive power in the final third.

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Lillestrøm head into the match hovering just above the relegation zone with just 9 points from their 9 games. This is a team that hasn’t been very convincing recently and big defeats against Glimt (0-4) and Odd (0-3) stick out in my mind as extremely worrying performances. The positive news is that key playmaker Arnor Smarason is now back from injury but he doesn’t look sharp enough yet. At the back, old veteran Frode Kippe is an injury doubt for this match. Maybe he’s over the hill now and past his best but his experience and presence in the side is still key, so he would certainly be missed. LSK came from 0-2 down to draw with Mjondalen in their last away match but it was a concern how much they were bullied by such a poor side on paper. In Thomas Lehne Olsen upfront they have a decent striker but I doubt he will get too many chances here.

I think Vålerenga -1 Asian Handicap is worth backing here. I am expecting them to win and based on recent form they should win fairly convincingly. Of course, the one caveat is that with derby matches the form book can sometimes be thrown out of the window. LSK will be fired up and ready to go into battle, although without Kippe they might lose some of their siege mentality. If this wasn’t a derby match though it would be extremely hard to look beyond a comfortable home victory, so from a logical point of view the best bet does look like this -1 Asian Handicap. Even a one-goal victory would be a push, which wouldn’t be the end of the earth if the game was closer than anticipated. Right now, I like what I see from Vålerenga and I believe they need to be backed.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Vålerenga -1.00 at 1.800

Tromsø v Molde

Here we have a bottom vs top clash and both teams are in completely contrasting form. Tromsø won on the opening day of the season at Ranheim but have since lost 7 of their last 8 fixtures and find themselves completely rock bottom. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what’s been going wrong and I beleive it to be a combination of factors. Injuries certainly haven’t helped with key defender Simen Wangberg on the treatment table along with right back Artem Sokol. The likes of Daniel Berntsen and Mikael Ingebrigtsen in attack are also rated doubtful here. Tromsø have a very good manager in Simo Valakari but the squad he has to work with isn’t the greatest and there are generally a lot of young heads within the club. That can be a good thing of course long term, but when times are tough the lack of experience could hurt them.

Molde travel here top of the table having won 7 of their 10 fixtures. They have lost a couple of times at Glimt and Kristiansund (both 2-3) but for the most part have looked like clearly the best side in the league. Certainly, from an offensive point of view, their firepower is very expansive and they also have in-form players like Ohi Omoijuanfo & Magnus Wolff Eikrem. To be honest, the whole squad is playing pretty well though and they are clear -0.75 Asian Handicap favourites to prevail here. For some teams, travelling to Tromsø can be a difficult match historically but Molde have really enjoyed their trips up north in the last few years winning at Alfheim Stadion in each of the last 3 seasons. In fact, Tromsø have desperately struggled in this matchup basically anywhere against Molde, whether it be home or away.

And I fully expect them to struggle once again here. Tromsø simply aren’t playing well enough to get anywhere near Molde at the moment and backing the visitors on that aforementioned -0.75 Asian Handicap is the first obvious pick for this match. In time, I do think Tromsø can pull themselves out of trouble and they will be glad of a 3 week break after this match. But unless they get massively lucky this weekend another defeat is looking on the cards. TIL have yet to keep a clean sheet this season and another pick I like is over 2.75 goals. Molde could cover this line on their own but it’s worth noting that Tromsø have scored in all but two of their matches this season. They usually have the odd good period in every match which makes me think a likely scoreline here is something like 1-2 or 1-3, or possibly more for Molde if they are clinical.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Molde -0.75 at 1.950

Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.75 goals at 1.900

Preview by: @meatmansoccer.

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