Rosenborg v Brann
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.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Rosenborg -1.00 at 2.120
Kristiansund v Haugesund
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.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Kristiansund -0.25 at 2.040
Preview by: @meatmansoccer.