Bodo Glimt v Rosenborg – Saturday 17:00
Bodo started the season well, but a terrible run of results left them third bottom of the table at the start of the summer break. In total, Bodo have lost 8 of their last 10 games and an horrendous spell of six consecutive defeats, the worst losing run of anyone in the Tippeligaen so far this year. Bodo haven’t actually looked like a bad side at times. They retained a similar identity that they had last season, try to soak up pressure and then hit sides on the counter attack. Their problem hasn’t so much been conceding goals, that was pretty much expected. But for a so called ‘attack minded’ team to only score 13 goals in 13 games is a pretty low return. Winger Milan Jevtovic has scored six of those aforementioned strikes and is one of the leading marksman in the league. But it hasn’t been enough, other players haven’t contributed. For this game, no1 keeper Halldorsson is away with Iceland on international duty. I’m not fully sure of their injury situation but it looks like Bodo will have close to a clean bill of health.
The champions meanwhile, look good value to defend their title. Prior to the summer break they were five points clear at the tip of the table, with only Odd and Molde able to make any sort of challenge in the second half of the campaign. It really looks like RBK are in a class of their own once again and have eased their way to 10/13 league wins. The Trondheim outfit are the joint highest scoring team and have the best defence in the Tippeligaen. I personally feel like they’ve yet to even hit top gear. That might take until August and beyond to happen, this month they have crucial Champions League qualifying matches to deal with which they might treat with higher priority. Heading into this match it seems RBK have close to a clean bill of health. Only winger Yann de Lanlay is rated doubtful with injury. All of their dropped points this season have come away from home, so if RBK are vulnerable in any way then it’s definitely on the road.
I think over 3 goals is definitely worth backing. Rosenborg might have lacked for goals on the road this season but they will surely get plenty of chances against a potentially porous defence. I also think scoring chances will be at both ends. Bodo have some good pacey options such as Azemi, Olsen & Jevtovic who could all catch out RBK on the break. The worry is of course that Bodo keep missing chances. Those misses are the only reason why they haven’t been involved in more over 2.5 games this season. RBK have had 5/6 unders on the road in 2016 but have mostly faced negative sides more inclined to park the bus. I don’t think Bodo will do that, and even if they did the defence isn’t capable of holding out IMO. So I think anything 1.80+ on an over 3 goal line is an acceptable bet, at worst I see this being a push.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Over 3 goals at 1.95
Stabaek v Sogndal – Sunday 17:00
The hosts have been a shadow of their former selves this season. In 2015 they were brilliant, even pushing Rosenborg close to the title under the management of Bob Bradley. Eventually they finished third but considering the resources available it was a tremendous achievement. This term, things have been much more complicated and they are currently situated on just 10 points having lost a whopping 9/13 games, more than any other team in the Tippeligaen. Things just haven’t worked for coach Billy McKinlay and reports were he was close to the sack. Only a convincing 5-0 win against Start just before the summer break enabled him to keep hold of his job.
Something clearly isn’t right with the club though and in midweek they suffered a really poor 0-0 draw away against Welsh side Connah’s Quay in the Europa League. They were 1.35 favourites in that fixture and should be beating them easily any day of the week. It sums up Stabaek’s problems. To add insult to injury Indian GK Singh Sandhu injured himself in that contest, just as he had asserted himself as the club’s no1 GK. Midfielder Issah is suspended.
Sogndal have had a solid season so far and look on track to avoid relegation. Eirik Bakke’s men have only won three matches but a collection of draws (6), more than any other side in the league has enabled them to pick up 15 points. Sogndal are naturally a defensive side but can get sucked into some higher scoring matches, in both of their last two fixtures the final outcome was a 2-2 draw. They also beat Aalesund 4-1 on the road. But typically the key to their success is keeping things tight at the back and being efficient in front of goal. Sogndal are nothing special but they are quite a good all round team who are difficult to beat and often keep themselves in matches. It’s especially hard to break them down once they are ahead.
It will come as no surprise that I’m going to be backing Sogndal here. The only question is exactly what asian line to actually take them on. +0.5 is generally available around the 1.80 mark, whilst +0.25 can be grabbed at 2.12. If Sogndal were more of an ‘all or nothing’ side then I’d take the latter option, but because they draw so many games then I think +0.5 is a better line. That way, if another of their fixtures did end all square then the bet fully wins. I’m never a great fan of backing away sides but in this instance I really feel like Sogndal are terrific value. Stabaek just aren’t a side that impress me very much at the moment.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Sogndal +0.5 at 1.80
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