Jerv v Molde
These are dire times for Jerv. They have lost 8 of their last 9 Eliteserien matches and are second bottom of the table on just 14 points. They are currently 8 points adrift of the nearest safe position. Kristiansund are now breathing down their necks and it looks highly likely that Jerv will finish rock bottom. They simply haven’t been good enough this season, but this isn’t a surprise. On paper, Jerv have the worst team in the league, and we know they have very limited resources. They’ve done well to win four games of football, all of which came at home and by an exact 1-0 margin. Jerv have by far the worst xGA in the league (49.35) and their 48 conceded very much correlates with that figure. They have legitimately poor defence but also a terrible attack force, scoring only 15 goals in 21 games. Jerv recently signed Liberian striker Peter Wilson, who formerly played for Swedish club GIF Sundsvall. Wilson scored on his debut last week vs Odd and could perhaps be a decent threat in the remaining nine matches. The problem is that Jerv don’t create that many chances so he could be left feeding off scraps.
Molde are 1.22 away favourites to win this match and this is a fair price. They are now 10 points clear at the top of the table after beating Bodø/Glimt 4-1 last week and the title looks all but assured. It would be a big shock and take one massive collapse for Molde not to win the gold medal now. Erling Moe’s men are unbeaten in 16 consecutive league games and won 14 of those contests. One of the draws in that run was actually against Jerv at home (1-1) but looking back it was just a freak result in a match they dominated, they just couldn’t take their chances. Molde played on Thursday night in the UEFA Conference League and were held to a 0-0 draw vs Belgian side Gent. They largely dominated the match but couldn’t find a way past a stubborn defence and goalkeeper. There could be some squad rotation for this game because they face Swedish outfit Djurgården on Thursday in another European match. Molde have a fantastic away record this season winning 8 out of 10 Eliteserien road games and yet to suffer defeat.
Jerv can take some comfort that the last time they played Molde they managed to hold them to a 1-1 draw. However, it would be a big shock if they avoided defeat here. Molde are going to win the game, the question is by what margin. The two obvious bets here are either the Molde -1 handicap at 1.62 or Molde win and over 2.5 goals at 1.50. The question is how much of a risk is the 0-2 scoreline? Ultimately, I think Molde winning and over 2.5 goals in the match is the better outcome because it covers for the 1-2 outcome, or any other high scoring victory by one goal. The expectation is that the visitors claim a very comfortable victory and should score several goals.
Tromsø v Bodø/Glimt
The big match of the day comes from Alfheim Stadion where two massive rivals face each other. This is the ‘Derby of Northern Norway’ between a couple sides who geographically sit inside the Arctic Circle. Tromsø came so very close to beating their arch-rivals earlier this season but a late equaliser managed to salvage a 1-1 draw for Bodø/Glimt. The formbook can of course be thrown out of the window for such a fixture, but Tromsø have been playing well recently, suffering just 2 defeats in their last 8 league games. They have been much stronger at home this season where they have a 6-3-1 record. Sarpsborg are the only team to leave this ground with a victory this year and that was several months ago. This has always been historically a difficult place to visit and Glimt will be in for a rude awakening. For Tromsø, their sole focus all week has been on this game. It matters a lot to them, and they would dearly love to beat their bitter rivals for what would be the first time in seven attempts.
This match falls at a more difficult time for Bodø/Glimt. They just played on Thursday night away to PSV Eindhoven in the Europa League. They managed to pick up a creditable 1-1 draw and played well but it was an energy sapping fixture and they put a lot of effort into the encounter. They are in European action again in just a few days’ time when they play host to Zurich. Glimt could rest and rotate some players if they so desired but doing such a thing in a big derby game like this would be seen as a big risk. I think there will be some sort of European hangover for the visitors either mentally or physically. Let’s not forget that Kjetil Knutsen’s men also head into the encounter on the back of losing 1-4 at home to title rivals Molde last week. That result has all but ended their aspirations of lifting the Eliteserien crown for a third straight year. The big team news for this match surrounds the fitness of key Glimt attacker Amahl Pellegrino. He is rated doubtful and didn’t feature in the PSV match. He is the top scorer in the Eliteserien with 19 goals and would be a huge miss for the visitors.
Bodø/Glimt are odds-on favourites to win this match at 1.87. I think this is too short and that Tromsø are underrated in this fixture. Remember, this is a local derby match and right now this game probably means more to Tromsø due to their desperate need of a victory vs Glimt. They also have a massive scheduling advantage with seven full days to prepare as opposed to the away side in the middle of a hectic European run. I think taking the home team on a 1X draw double chance looks like a great value bet. Tromsø are more than good enough to at worst draw this game and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a home win. Glimt are a great side, and it is always dangerous betting against them, but are definitely vulnerable here.
Kristiansund v Vålerenga
Kristiansand have found some form recently and might not be totally dead and buried just yet. They won just 1 of their first 19 league games but have now won consecutive contests vs LSK and Sandefjord. Kristiansund still sit bottom of the table but are now just one point behind Jerv and the relegation playoff spot is 9 points away. That is still a sizable gap with less than a third of the season to play but a much better situation than they once found themselves in. All it takes is one team above to have a shocking end to the season and Kristiansund might still have a very small chance. In the present moment though they face a very tough match vs a strong Vålerenga side. That is why KBK are a 3.50 home underdog to win this match. They have recently beaten Viking 2-1 in what was a very even contest and then a 3-1 success against struggling Sandefjord. This will be a far tougher fixture for a team which has still only kept one clean sheet all season. Kristiansund have conceded 40 goals in 21 games which is obviously not very good. At the other end of the field the form of striker Faris Moumbagna is a massive plus point. Since coming back from a loan spell, he has scored 3 goals and supplied 2 assists in 6 appearances.
Vålerenga are a serious form team in the Eliteserien right now. They have won 8 of their last 9 games and moved up to 5th position. They can realistically think about a medal spot, but they must keep up this excellent form. VIF have strong overall metrics with an average xG of 1.94 per 90 mins. This was not always converted into goals, but they have finally been more clinical in recent weeks. Star playmaker Osame Sahraoui has been in brilliant form, arguably the best of anyone in the entire division. He seems unplayable right now and it is safe to say he is likely to have a major impact on this game. The visitors also have some new players in their ranks with striker Torgeir Børven one of the more notable additions from the summer transfer window. In the past he has proven to be a reliable goalscorer at Eliteserien level and scored his first goal for Vålerenga in last week’s win vs Lillestrøm 3-1.
Logic does point towards an away win considering the brilliant recent form of Vålerenga. They can be backed at 191 and it seems an acceptable price. However, I think taking over 2.5 goals is a better bet even if the odds are much shorter at 1.60. Kristiansund have kept one clean sheet all season and 8 of their 10 home matches have ended with over 2.5 goals. They are in much more confident form right now and I could see both teams contributing towards this bet. Vålerenga have plenty of offensive weapons to take advantage of a soft backline. Although the visitors also possess a better defence than their opponents, they have only kept two clean sheets in their last seven games.
Haugesund v Rosenborg
Both teams are in good form heading into this game. Haugesund have won 4 of their last 6 games and Rosenborg lost just 1 of their last 11 Eliteserien fixtures. Haugesund are still hanging precariously above the relegation zone, only three points clear of Sandefjord, but the situation is far better than their start of the season nightmare. Haugesund lost their first five consecutive games this year and only won 2 of their first 11 in the league. Credit must be given to manager Jostein Grindhaug who was certainly under some pressure at that stage, but he turned around their fortunes gradually. Haugesund are not out of the woods yet and must keep picking up points to stay clear of the drop zone. Their recent form is strong though, especially at home when they have only lost 1 of their last 7 fixtures. That defeat was against Molde 0-1 and is perfectly understandable. Both teams have scored in 7 of the last 8 Haugesund home matches and that is the betting angle which I like heading into this game. Clean sheets are not something which Haugesund tend to keep, and they have conceded at least one goal in a massive 19 out of 21 matches this season.
Rosenborg have gradually got better this season and actually head into this match having won 6 of their last 7 league games. Kjetil Rekdal has really got this team firing offensively and for the first time in several years you actually fear their offensive juggernaut. The signing of striker Casper Tengstedt from Danish club Horsens looks to be an inspired move right now and he has sensationally scored 7 goals in 5 appearances, in addition to 4 assists. He is a major asset to the club and has struck up a great partnership upfront with Ole Christian Saeter. The latter is more of a pressing forward and workhorse type of energetic striker but has also weighed in with several goals this season and is reliable from the penalty spot. In total, Rosenborg have scored a massive 22 goals in their last 7 matches but at the other end have shipped in 11 times. Their defence is not reliable, but it doesn’t matter so much if they can continue to outscore teams. Defensive midfielder Tobias Borkeeiet is suspended for this match which won’t help RBK.
I think goals are very much the order of play here and there are several betting lines to look at. Over 2.5 can be backed at 1.65 and this looks a very acceptable price. I think both teams to score is an even safer play though. Neither of these two defences look like keeping a clean sheet and this is set to be an end-to-end type fixture with several chances. I don’t think it will end 1-1 but just in case that score was to land then it is better to have it on our side.
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