Kongsvinger v KFUM Oslo
Both teams had impressive wins last week and this should be a decent game of football. Kongsvinger have had an ok season and are in exactly midtable on 33 points. They could still make the playoffs if they were to finish the campaign strongly. They have been a very inconsistent team this season and difficult to predict, you just don’t know which version of them will show up. Their home record is solid enough (5-4-2) with only Brann and Stabaek beating them here on their own patch. There is a suggestion that Kongsvinger have slightly overachieved this season because their underlying metrics aren’t great. Their xGA is especially poor (43.24) and the fourth worst of any team in the division. Incredibly, they have only conceded 29 times which is more than 14 goals less than what is ‘deserved’. Without doubt, goalkeeper August Strömberg must be given a lot of praise for some of his performances this season. The former Varberg BOIS custodian has plenty of previous Allsvenskan and Superettan experience over in Sweden and at times has looked a class above this level.
KFUM Oslo are in second place on 44 points. They have a 3 point cushion to Stabaek and right now are in pole position to obtain the second automatic promotion spot. I mention this every week, but KFUM matches are an absolute magnet for goals. A whopping 20 out of 23 of their fixtures have ended with over 2.5 goals, the most recent was a 3-0 victory vs Mjøndalen last week. That was just the fourth time all season that they kept a clean sheet and a rare occasion one of their games didn’t have both teams scoring. KFUM have the fourth best xG in the league (44.39) and do not rely on one individual. The whole team contributes towards their offensive metrics. The visitors have impressive away statistics this season and won 7 out of 11 road games. They are one of the form teams in the OBOS right now with 5 straight wins.
Considering that recent form then KFUM look a big price to win at 2.30 but as always, the best market to look at in any of their fixtures is over 2.5 goals. It is a surprise that 1.57 is on offer for there to be at least 3 goals in this game. One can only presume this is because Kongsvinger matches average the least number of goals per game out of any team in the OBOS (2.70). As aforementioned though, their xGA numbers are incredibly false and this team is not as strong defensively as might meet the eye. Even with Kongsvinger, 7 of their last 9 league games have all ended over 2.5 anyway, so I am backing that trend to continue.
Stabaek vs Raufoss
There is no doubt that Stabaek lost some ground last week by only drawing 2-2 vs Bryne at home. That was a match they were expected to win comfortably as a 1.25 favourite. Lars Bohinen’s men twice led in that fixture but had to ultimately settle for a point. The turning point in the game was the 63rd minute red card of midfielder Curtis Edwards. One suspects that Stabaek probably would’ve won the fixture had the match stayed 11 vs 11. Edwards will be suspended here as a result. Stabaek find themselves 3 points behind KFUM Oslo in the race to obtain the second automatic promotion spot. This is a club obsessed about making an immediate bounce-back promotion to the Eliteserien and even sacked manager Eirik Kjönö last month despite them being comfortably in the playoff positions. Statistically, Stabaek have the second best xG in the OBOS Ligaen (46.46), but they have only converted that into 45 goals. Those figures correlate well but I think the expectation was that this team would show its quality and class by overachieving those sorts of numbers with the individual ability available at their disposal.
Raufoss are on the cusp of the playoffs again after beating Fredrikstad 2-1 last week. It was their first win in five games and came at a timely moment when it looked like their season might fizzle out. It has been a decent campaign for Raufoss, but they had looked worryingly toothless prior to the Fredrikstad victory, failing to score in any of their previous three games. It has been a problem for them all season converting chances into goals. Raufoss have an xG of 40.02 but have only scored 31 goals which is a vast underachievement. Their top scorer is Markus Johnsgard with five goals, but no other individual has netted more than 3 times. You know what you are going to get with this team under the management of Christian Johnsen. Raufoss will play in a 4-3-3 system, and nothing ever really changes with this team. If they had a top quality striker who could convert chances better, then they would likely be in a comfortable playoff position right now.
That is where Stabaek have a definite edge. Their squad is loaded with talent and on paper only Brann have a better pool of players in this division. In attack, Nigerian striker Gift Emmanuel Orban has scored 10 times this season and also contributed with 5 assists. He could be the difference maker here and I fancy Stabaek to win. Lars Bohinen is a good recent managerial appointment, and I am convinced he would’ve started with three straight wins if that red card had not occurred last week. The home team are a skinny price to prevail at 1.36 but we can add value by taking them to win and over 1.5 goals. They did beat Kongsvinger 1-0 a couple of rounds ago, but Bohinen is generally quite an offensive minded manager, so if they prevail then I would expect at least a 2-0 or 2-1 success.
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