Bodø/Glimt v Strømsgodset
Few would have predicted Bodø/Glimt to be third in the table at this stage of the season. Many pundits had them down as relegation fodder but thus far they’ve done extremely well with many great highlights. The team from northern Norway haven’t actually been in action for nearly a whole month. The last time we saw them on the field resulted in a defeat at home to Brann (1-2). But that has been one of the very few negative points this season and we can almost excuse them as the fixture came just 3 days after a massive late victory against local rivals Tromsø. Glimt have already beaten the likes of Molde & Rosenborg here so will hold no fear. The squad is in good condition with no reported injuries apart from midfield Vegard Moberg who has an ankle problem.
Travelling to Aspmyra Stadion are a Strømsgodset side only just keeping their heads above the relegation waters. SIF did pick up a vitally important victory at home to Tromsø a couple of rounds ago (3-1) but then suffered a crucial loss of their own at Ranheim (0-1). Godset have never been a great travelling side for a number of years now and are so far winless on the road in 2019, losing each of their last three contests. Things haven’t been very settled in the managerial department this year with Bjørn Petter Ingebretsen stepping down from his role about a month ago. Taking over as caretaker boss is still Håkon Wibe-Lund who was combining his duties with the Norwegian U20 team at their World Cup in Poland. This was hardly ideal and Godset have yet to decide who they want as their new permanent manager. Maybe they will go with Wibe-Lund, but at this point in time, who knows.
There are fixtures that always stick out in the mind as being traditionally open and high scoring, and this is one of them. It just always feels like whenever these two teams meet the goals and chances flow like a fine bottle of champagne. 7 of the last 9 league H2Hs have ended with over 2.5 goals in them, and even the two that didn’t ended 2-0. Add into the mixer a couple of friendlies in recent years that also ended over and it’s clear that this sort of matchup has the prospect of being quite high scoring. Bodø/Glimt games have been pretty wide open in 2019 anyway, that is simply the way they play. Godset have sometimes lined up with five men at the back in away games but hopefully they will be more proactive and attacking here. Glimt are -0.75 or -1 Asian Handicap favourites, which demonstrates the progress they’ve made this year. In previous campaigns, Godset would always be the favourite in this game, but the situation is now changed. I do think this will end up as a home win but a better bet is probably over 2.75 goals. Glimt aren’t the sort of side who will nick a tight 1-0 win and have only kept two clean sheets all season. Strømsgodset should be able to create a few chances for themselves and my only concern is if they are negative and try to hold out for a point.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.75 goals at 2.050
Stabaek v Tromsø
The bottom two teams in the Eliteserien meet at the Nadderud Stadion this Monday night for what is a very important match. Stabaek have lost 4 of their last 5 games, a run in which they haven’t look that bad at times but a lack of converting chances has really cost them. It has been a while, a whole month in fact since we last saw them in action and things have changed both on and off the field in that period. The most important factor to note is that manager Henning Berg has left the club to coach in Cyprus. Replacing him for a second spell is experienced Swede Jan Jönsson who won the league at Stabaek back in 2008. Jönsson has been around the block and managed at clubs like Rosenborg & Aalesund, whilst most recently had been coaching abroad in Japan. I anticipate this will be a good appointment for the club and I think he will try and use his favoured 4-4-2 formation which is quite attacking.
On the field, attacker Younes Mokhtar has left although things weren’t working out for him anyway. There is some bad news regarding a couple of Stabaek’s talented youngsters. Both Hugo Vetelsen & Tobias Borkeeiet are suffering from Glandular Fever and there is no set status about their potential return date or what sort of condition they are in. Right back Ronald Hernandez is on Copa America duty with Venezuela. Travelling here to face Stabaek are a Tromsø side who must surely be buoyed by their shock victory against Molde last time out (2-1). That result caught out most people and snapped a run of 7 defeats in their last 8. They themselves have a few absentees here. It is unlikely that key centre back Simen Wangberg is going to be fit, whilst midfielder Onni Valakari is rated doubtful. Winger Mikael Ingebrigtsen is suspended. Tromsø have yet to keep a clean sheet this season and both teams have scored in all but two of their fixtures.
In my experience when teams meet at the lower end of the table in a match like this, both should fancy their chances of winning. I think this will be an end to end type game with loads of chances. Quite a few will probably be missed but there should be enough converted to make over 2.5 goals land. It’s the over that I fancy the most here for many reasons, some of which have already been mentioned. From a defensive point of view both sides have been pretty poor all year with just one clean sheet between them. I think the best qualities in each side are in the midfield and attacking areas, not at the back. I just don’t see this being a tight game and there enough quality strikers on show such as Franck Boli & Runar Espejord to find the back of the net. Stabaek are -0.25 Asian Handicap favourites which is probably just about right. Quite who is going to win I’m not really sure. I am surprised over 2.5 goals can be backed as big as 1.90 though, because to me it seems like an obvious high scoring affair.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.50 goals at 1.900
Preview by: @meatmansoccer.