Football betting analyst Mark O’Haire is taking us to Scandinavia on Sunday for two goals-based selections from Norway and Sweden.
The first international break of 2019/20 is almost upon us. To be honest, I adore the September breather as it gives us the perfect opportunity to reassess the opening month of action. Have any teams surprised? Have certain teams flopped or fired against our better judgement?
The week off allows us the chance to tinker with our pre-season ratings.
But before we do, there’s a cracking card from home and away to enjoy this weekend. With an abundance of derby dates taking place across the planet, there’s a temptation to focus on the standout showdowns. However, I’ll be taking us to less glamorous climes with the top-flights in Norway and Sweden reaching a critical stage in the campaign.
GOALS FORECAST AS TIRED TITLE-CHASERS TRAVEL TO MJONDALEN
After this weekend’s round of fixtures, the Eliteserien in Norway will be two-thirds complete, and there’s an intriguing battle playing out towards the top of the table.
Bodo-Glimt – chasing their first ever domestic title – are the unexpected league leaders, enjoying a two-point cushion to last season’s runners-up Molde. Traditional powerhouses Rosenborg remain 10 points adrift, despite coming on strong following a disastrous start. Odds were also in contention before a concerning wobble since the end of June.
Molde are the team the bookmakers fear. MFK are just 1.50 shots to top the tree at the end of November and Erling Moe’s men arguably enjoy the slightly softer schedule over the remaining 11 fixtures, starting with Sunday where the 2014 champions travel to Mjonalden.
MFK have only suffered three defeats, although question marks remain over the side’s defensive approach, organisation and stability out of possession. Doubts are also surfacing over Molde’s heavy workload with the Romsdal outfit playing Europa League qualification matches through each preliminary round since mid-July, including this Thursday night.
The two issues combined have contributed to Molde conceding at least two goals in each of their four outings ahead of the return leg UEL against Partizan Belgrade on Thursday. Nevertheless, Moe’s charges tend to excel in the final third and their offensive style has been characterised by the sheer number of goals in their games during 2019.
A huge 14 of Molde’s last 19 matches across all competitions have seen Over 2.5 Goals with Sunday night’s guests notching at least twice in 15 of their 19 Eliteserien encounters. MFK have kept a league-high seven shutouts in their league campaign but have also shipped two goals or more in a third of those fixtures, with Over 2.5 Goals copping 68% of the time.
Molde have registered at least twice on the scoresheet in all bar two of their 10 road trips, five of which broke the Over 3.5 Goals barrier, whilst seven saw both sides score. Considering 10 of their last 11 visits to bottom-six sides also delivered Over 2.5 Goals, there’s already plenty of evidence stacking up towards a goal-heavy game on Sunday.
I certainly want to be with goals, with Over 2.75 available to support at 1.77.
Mjonalden aren’t a seasoned top-tier team in Norway and will again be battling to preserve their Eliteserien status this time around having claimed top honours on only four occasions since promotion last term. Even so, the hosts have proven great entertainers at the Consto Arena.
Mjonalden have actually scored in all bar four of their 19 games across the campaign with seven of nine here paying-out for Both Teams To Score hunters. Their meeting with current table-toppers Bodo ended in a thrilling 5-4 defeat and the newcomers have only managed to silence three opposition outfits thus far.
It’s difficult to dismiss goals.
ALLSVENSKAN STRUGGLERS CAN CONTRIBUTE TO HIGH-SCORING CONTEST
In Sweden, rock-bottom Sundsvall are chasing their first success since April on Sunday when Gothenburg arrive. The hosts have picked up only four points from a possible 45 (W0-D4-L11) in that sequence and have kept their sheets clean just once across the whole campaign.
Gothenburg are chasing a top-three finish – which results in qualification into next season’s Europa League preliminaries – and should be confident about picking up maximum points. The former Allsvenskan giants have been beaten only three times in their 21 tussles this term (only once since April), although a collection of stalemates have held IFK back.
It’s quite easy to make a case for Gothenburg here.
They’re unbeaten on their league travels in eight (W4-D4-L0), scoring twice or more on five occasions, and pitch up after achieving back-to-back triumphs for only the second time this season. However, there’s arguably more juice available in the odds on offer by entering the Over 2.5 Goals market.
Collectively, the two teams have produced 17/20 (85%) profitable Both Teams To Score winners when combing their respective home/away games this term, with 13/20 (65%) paying-out in the Over 2.5 Goals market. The duo have recorded only two shutouts between them in that time, again pointing towards a possible entertaining encounter.
I’m happy to take the 2.16 available on Over 2.5 Goals.
- Over 2.75 Goals in Mjondalen v Molde 2 units @ 1.78
- Over 2.50 Goals in GIF Sundsvall v IFK Gothenburg 2 units @ 2.16