Haugesund v Sogndal
FKH responded to the unfortunate resignation of Mark Dempsey in extremely positive fashion by beating local rivals Viking 4-1. However, the honeymoon for new coach Andrea Roberto didn’t last very long. They went and lost 6-0 at Rosenborg last week, a really awful result facing the champions who even rested some players. It may well prove to be an anomaly and in the long run it doesn’t really matter. Most sides lose to Rosenborg so it’s not like they’ll lose much ground up. This is a more manageable fixture and Haugesund remain fifth in the table so the feeling is still good here. Losing 0-6 isn’t nice but it’s quite possible everyone would forget about it quickly. FKH have been playing some nice football this season in a 3-5-2 formation and have yet to suffer defeat in front of their own fans.
It looked like Sogndal were going to lose their long unbeaten record last week when they fell behind 0-2 against Bodo Glimt. But they managed to come back and rescue a draw, which now extends their stretch to 10 without defeat. It’s quite remarkable that Sogndal have drawn 8 of their 17 games, which is a really high % for the Tippeligaen. They are a good team and manager Eirik Bakke has built a nice atmosphere. Team spirit is strong and everyone is playing with freedom and confidence. Situated well above the relegation zone right now, there’s no real pressure on this side.
Both sides have been involved in some high scoring matches really and over 2.75 (or over 2.5) goals looks like a good bet. Haugesund have been pretty offensive minded all year but their defence can be shaky, as last weekend proved. Perhaps there’s a slight danger the coach will focus on the defensive part of their game in approach to this match, but they are only playing Sogndal and will fancy their chances of victory. The visitors started off life as a low scoring team but have gradually developed their confidence going forwards. I’m surprised the bookies are offering such juicy odds here and I can’t help think this price is based on reputation rather than recent form and style.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Over 2.75 goals at 2.05
Stromsgodset v Stabaek
Godset suffered an extremely disappointing 0-2 defeat away at Lillestrom last weekend. Most side have been walking all over LSK since the summer break, but the team from Drammen put in a stinker of a performance. This was probably the culmination of a hectic schedule in which they played in the Europa League and Tippeligaen simultaneously for a couple of weeks. The players really struggled on the back of extra time and it was probably a contributing factor. Godset are never very good away from home anyway. Here at Marienlyst Stadion they are a formidable beast though. They’ve won their last 8 consecutive fixtures in front of their own fans, scoring many goals in the process. It’s one of the toughest places to visit in Norway.
Stabaek have definitely looked much better since Billy McKinlay got sacked and Toni Ordinas took over. They remain unbeaten under Ordinas, although blew a 2-0 lead at Tromso last week. Stabaek played really well for an hour but just couldn’t resist the barrage of pressure which came their way in the last 20 mins. Nevertheless, a point up at Tromso is never a bad result and it’s clear the squad is enjoying life much better. There’s more confidence in their ranks and everyone seems comfortable with Ordinas’ tactics. All of their results before he took over definitely need to be ignored. Under his guidance they are more free flowing again and look better going forwards.
There are two bets I like in this game. The first is fairly obvious and Stromsgodset -1. They’ve won 8 consecutive matches at Marienlyst and if they maintain that run then the worst you’d get out of this bet is a push. I think this’ll be an offensive battle between two teams who are quite positive minded. Godset have been involved in a few lower scoring Tippeligaen matches recently, which is unusual for them. But I put it down to Europa League involvement. Everyone has had a full week of rest now so there shouldn’t be any issues. Stabaek should come here and ‘have a go’, Ordinas has declared his intention to win as many matches as possible. Over 3 goals looks a decent bet when you consider the likely offensive nature of the game. I think something like a 3-1, 4-1 or even a 4-2 win for Godset is likely.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Stromsgodset -1 at 1.84 & over 3 goals at 1.91
Prices correct at time of writing.
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