Football betting analyst Mark O’Haire returns to share his favourite fancies from the weekend with a pair of plays from Scandinavia this Sunday.
TAKE TROMSO ON THE HANDICAP
Tromso surpassed Eliteserien expectations last term to finish inside the top-half of the table. With key forwards August Mikkelsen and Eric Kitolano moving on in the off-season, many pundits anticipated a campaign of struggle for Gaute Helstrup’s group in 2023, yet the Gutan are flying high in third after their opening nine encounters (W5-D2-L2).
Surprisingly, the northern Norwegian club’s only losses came at their Romssa Arena base – both by one-goal margins – with their most recent reverse arriving against runaway league leaders Bodo/Glimt.
And despite tabling only two triumphs on their travels in the whole of 2022, Tromso have already posted an eye-catching W3-D1-L0 in games as guests this season.
Helstrup is renowned for his organisational skills and it’s telling that the Gutan boast the Eliteserien’s best defensive record at this early stage. Exclude the three goals shipped against a rampant Bodo and Tromso have allowed only five goals in eight outings, including just two in their four fixtures on their travels.
Having already taken top honours in three of their four trips to bottom-five opposition, there’s no obvious reason why Tromso can’t add Aalesund to their hit-list on Sunday and it’s a surprise to see the visitors available at 1.86 with a +0/0.5 Asian Handicap start – the selection would see us profit should Helstrup’s outfit avoid defeat.
Aalesund also overachieved in 2022 and the winter saw the spine of the side move on to bigger and better opportunities. The Tangotroyene replaced their outgoings with unheralded and inexperienced options and have struggled to get going this season, accumulating only four points from their first 10 fixtures (W1-D1-L8).
Three of Aalesund’s paltry five-goal tally arrived in a shock 3-1 success over defending champions Molde, and the hosts have followed up that surprise victory with back-to-back losses, shipping three goals in each.
AaFK prop up the early season standings with the worst goalscoring record in the division, as well as owning the second-worst defence.
Considering Aalesund were also taken to penalties in Wednesday night’s cup action, I’m quite happy to oppose the home side here knowing we’ve a handy handicap start.
OPPOSE ALLSVENSKAN GOALS
Hacken dominated the Allsvenskan last season, taking their maiden Swedish title by a margin of seven points. But the Getingarna face stiff competition from Malmo and Elfsborg in 2023 and Per-Mathias Hogmo’s outfit will be eager to extend their winning streak to three when mid-table Mjallby arrive on Sunday in a potential clash of styles.
Hacken are famed for their front-foot approach. The hosts have already plundered a league-high 31 goals and sit amongst the league leaders for Expected Goals (xG) generated.
Yet, their enterprising efforts have allowed opposition sides opportunities as last weekend’s shutout at Varbergs represented only the second shutout of the season for the Getingarna.
In contrast, Mjallby are much more measured. Anders Torstensson’s team are pragmatic by nature, aim to utilise set-pieces and the counter-attack with an emphasis on remaining strong and solid down the middle. Only the bottom-two sides have scored fewer goals thus far, whilst no Allsvenskan outfit owns a better goals against record through 11 rounds.
Mjallby’s style is pictured perfectly in the underlying metrics with matches involving Torstensson’s troops producing a total xG output of only 2.12, significantly below the league average of 2.69 xG.
In terms of actual goals per-game figures, MAIF’s fixtures are featuring only 1.64 goals with just one of 11 dates paying-out for Both Teams To Score backers.
Indeed, Mjallby have already delivered a league-high six clean sheets with the away side also firing blanks of their own on six occasions, and with that in-mind, plus the safety-first approach that is likely to be employed on Sunday, I’m happy to support Both Teams To Score ‘No’ here at 1.95, considering it’s the outsider of the two options here.
- Tromso +0.25 Asian Handicap in Aalesund vs Tromso – 1 unit @ 1.86
- Both Teams To Score ‘No’ Hacken vs Mjallby – 1 unit @ 1.95
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