Sogndal v Ranheim
After an encouraging first half of the year, Sogndal’s season has properly fizzled out. They have only won 1 of their last 8 games and are down as low as 9th place. Finishing in the playoffs is still not impossible but they are now 6 points behind Start with only six games left. They are going to need to go on a really strong run and it would help if they beat another playoff rival Ranheim here. The visitors are on 40 points and if Sogndal were to prevail they would move within four points of their opponents. The problem is that neither team really looks like winning a game right now. Sogndal have lost 5 of their last 7 fixtures and conceded a massive 21 goals in those encounters. Their defence has never been a strong point all year and they have shipped in 48 goals in 24 games which is obviously a horrible average. Manager Tore Andre Flo is in his first head coach role and generally employed a 4-4-2 formation this year. He has recently switched to a 3-4-3 recently though and they drew 3-3 vs Bryne last week in what was a wild encounter.
Ranheim’s form has also gone downhill. At one stage they looked like the team most likely to finish in the second automatic promotion position but a winless run of five straight games has seen them drop down to fourth. They are still in the hunt and a playoff spot is certainly up for grabs, but they seem to be going cold at such a crucial stage of the season. The team from Trondheim are another who have had defensive issues all season and have incredibly only kept two clean sheets all season. Their average xGA per 90 mins is 1.54 which is one of the better records in the division but is still a large number to be conceding. On average, Sogndal have the 5th worst defence with xGA metrics (1.86 per match). This should be a good chance for Ranheim to re-find their attacking form and they could have enough to simply outscore Sogndal here.
Both teams need to be positive and Sogndal especially have to start swinging. A draw is not good enough for the home team at this stage of the season. Ranheim also need to target victory to stay in the hunt for an automatic promotion spot. Each defence rarely ever keeps a clean sheet so both teams to score would be an obvious pick. That price is only 1.36 though and over 2.5 goals can be backed at 1.47, which represents better value. The reverse fixture ended in a 3-3 draw and whilst something as extreme is unlikely again, at least three goals should get scored in this match.
Grorud v Stabaek
Grorud have had an horrendous season. They have obtained just 10 points and lost a massive 16 out of 24 games. It took them 22 OBOS Ligaen fixtures to finally pick up a victory, which actually came in their most recent home match vs Ranheim (2-1). Grorud are 8 points adrift of the relegation playoff spot though and look set to have an immediate relegation back to the third tier of Norwegian football. They simply haven’t been good enough. Last week they were totally embarrassed away to Brann, 0-6 down at half time. They did well to escape with only a 0-7 loss as the league leaders went easy on them in the second half. Grorud have the worst xGA per 90 mins in the league (2.09) and conceded an avalanche of goals this year, 58 in total in 24 games. At the other end of the field their 24 goals scored is the fewest of any team in the division. They are quite simply the worst side in the OBOS and will probably be looking forward to the season ending.
Stabaek received a timely boost last week. They got the job done vs Raufoss at home (2-0) and moved up to 2nd place thanks to KFUM Oslo’s 0-3 defeat to Kongsvinger. They recently sacked manager Eirik Kjönö and replaced him with Lars Bohinen who has an excellent record of getting teams promoted out of this division. Expectations were high at Stabaek this year and they fully expected to be in the automatic promotion picture. They are level on points with KFUM Oslo and their destiny is in their own hands. Stabaek have the second best xG in the division (48.48) but have only converted that into 48 goals. As a known top team in the OBOS, I think Stabaek would’ve expected to have overachieved that metric. Leading scorer Gift Emmanuel Orban has netted 11 times in 16 appearances and also weighed in with 6 assists. He is definitely their key attacker and played a crucial part in their win last week vs Raufoss. Stabaek have only conceded 24 goals this season which is comfortably the second best defensive record behind Brann.
Last week, taking Stabaek to win and over 1.5 goals were a successful winning bet and I think it is wise to stick with the same option here. Stabaek certainly should be winning the game, but at odds of 1.30 the price is a bit on the skinny side. It bumps up to 1.53 though if you are willing to increase the goals. Stabaek winning exactly 1-0 is unlikely when you consider how poor the Grorud defence is. I would say there is a good chance the visitors win at least 2-0 or 2-1 and, in all reality, it will probably be by a bigger margin.
KFUM Oslo v Bryne
There was big disappointment for KFUM Oslo when they lost last week 1-3 away to Kongsvinger. They have moved down to third place in the table behind Stabaek, although only by virtue of goal difference. Yet again, backing over 2.5 goals in a KFUM Oslo match was profitable. An incredible 21 of their 24 OBOS fixtures have contained at least three goals this year and it is no surprise which direction I lean again for this affair. KFUM are just a goal machine and have netted 49 goals this year. As mentioned in previous weeks, their whole squad contributes towards goals, and they don’t rely on any one individual to perform. The big question is how they will react to a disappointing defeat because it ended a run of five straight wins. Will the pressure of a promotion battle get to the players?
Statistically, they are one of the best teams in the league with the fourth best xG (1.93 per 90 mins) and also the second best for xGA (1.47 per match). They desperately lack clean sheets though and have only had four all season.
Bryne travel here unbeaten in five matches, and they have probably done enough to avoid relegation. The team from south-western Norway are in 13th place but do have a 7 point cushion to the relegation playoff. In realistic terms, they probably only need another 2 or 3 points to guarantee safety and some people would argue they already have enough. Bryne knew they were in for a tough campaign, but they have just about had enough all season to keep their heads above water, aided by some very poor teams in the bottom three. They have decent xG metrics, the 8th best in the OBOS (40.08) but have only converted that into 32 goals, which is a vast underachievement. Maybe this is something they will improve on in the final six matches. They lack a high class proven goal scorer and Arne Gunnes is top of their scoring charts with just seven goals this season. At the other end of the field Bryne have only kept one clean sheet in their last 8 matches.
Taking over 2.5 goals in a KFUM match is just the plain obvious pick right now. So many of their games contain at least three goals that odds of 1.50 actually look quite good. Bryne aren’t exactly known for low scoring matches so it’s a surprise that this price is not closer to 1.30. Both teams should be able to contribute towards this bet but with KFUM’s scoring power they are more than capable of covering an over 2.5 line on their own as well.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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