Ranheim v Vålerenga
After losing their first three matches of the season it suddenly looked like Ranheim were operating out of their depth at Eliteserien level. However, they now have 7 points on the board and have beaten both Viking and Brann back to back. Their 1-0 success away in Bergen last week was a big shock, and perhaps a little fortunate. Svein Maalen’s men scored with what was effectively their only chance on goal but from a defensive and tactical point of view RIL were excellent. The part time club from Trondheim face another tricky opponent this week but should be more open and willing to attack at home.
Vålerenga come here unbeaten in four consecutive games but have been having some problems away from home this season. They’ve failed to win any of their four road contests although at least managed to pick up a couple of 1-1 draws recently. In a year when some powerhouse teams like Brann, RBK & Sarpsborg are struggling this could be an opportunity for VIF to enter the medal race but they absolutely need to be winning matches like this in order to challenge at the top of the table. The team from Oslo have plenty of attacking ability in their ranks like Ejuke, Finne, Shala & Vilhjalmsson. Brann struggled to break down a resolute Ranheim last week but Vålerenga have much more flair and an ‘X Factor’ about them. I don’t expect VIF to encounter as many problems and should be able to create plenty of chances.
Vålerenga are -0.25 Asian Handicap favourites here. I think they are slightly short but overall the odds look quite fair in this market. There is no doubt that the visitors are the better team and possess more quality, but this plucky Ranheim outfit can never be underestimated, especially at home. Last year we saw a very entertaining fixture between these teams end in a 2-2 draw. I wouldn’t be surprised if something similar occured and I can definitely see it being quite an open fixture. Ranheim parked the bus against Brann last week but I’d be surprised if they do the same here. They are usually the sort of team that like to ‘have a go’ at home and will probably fancy their chances against a VIF defence which can sometimes be unreliable. I think a straightforward pick on over 2.25 goals is my preferred bet here, although over 2.5 is also backable for those who prefer to be more aggressive.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.25 goals at 1.750
Strømsgodset v Viking
Godset won their first match of the season but have since gone on a five game winless run which currently sees them reside inside the relegation zone. SIF were the biggest underachievers last season and if they continue along this path the exact same will happen again in 2019. Things just don’t seem right under the management of Bjørn Petter Ingebretsen and my prediction is that he will eventually be replaced. It has been very noticeable that Godset have been playing different styles at home and away. On the road a 5-4-1 negative formation has been regularly employed. The good news is that just 3 goals have been conceded in their 3 road games so far. However, in front of their own fans the team has been forced to attack more which has in turn exposed a very leaky defence.
On the subject of defence, Viking shocked everyone by conceding just one goal in their first three league games. Nobody expected them to be very watertight but unfortunately, the Stavanger outfit hasn’t been able to keep it up. They conceded five times away at Ranheim and were perhaps fortunate not to let in a few more against Odd & Vålerenga. There are at least some injury excuses for Viking and they are effectively down to the bare bones at the back. Axel Andresson is ruled out for the whole season and Runar Hove also has a bad injury that could keep him out for a while. Left back Rolf Daniel Vikstol missed the most recent match and could be doubtful for this affair. Viking do at least possess some decent attacking threat. Old dog Tommy Hoiland has also finally managed to hit the back of the net a couple of times recently after a lean start to the year.
I think this is all set up for a wild Monday night clash in which both teams just totally go for it. All Strømsgodset’s home games have contained exactly five goals this season and something similar again wouldn’t surprise me. I just think both teams will see this as a winnable match and SIF cannot afford to sit back and defend negatively like they have done in some of their away fixtures. Each defence could get very exposed if chasing the game from behind and there could be all sorts of chances. Strømsgodset are a -0.5 Asian Handicap favourite here around the even-money mark which is probably about fair. I couldn’t trust them at the moment though and the obvious pick to me is over 2.75 goals. As long as neither team goes into its shell then this should be a cracking game of football with plenty of excitement.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.75 goals at 1.900
Preview by: @meatmansoccer.