EUROPEAN football fanatic Mark O'Haire (@MarkOHaire) heads to Norway on Sunday for his latest best bet on the continent.
Bodo-Glimt v Stromsgodset | Sunday 2nd August 2020, 17:00
Bodo/Glimt’s nine-match winning streak to start the Eliteserien season came to an end in midweek as the Nordland outfit chucked away a two-goal lead at Stabaek (2-2). Nevertheless, Kjetil Knutsen’s troops still hold a three-point advantage at the top of the table coming into MD12 with a maiden domestic title reamining the side’s main aim this term.
The Superlaget blew a league-leading position in 2019 to finish runners-up behind Molde but Glimt sent out a serious warning sign last weekend when dispatching the defending champions 3-1 here at their Aspmyra Stadion base. Molde were no match for Knutsen’s fast-paced, all-action, attacking football and were deservedly overawed by the Bodo boys.
The hosts have been a breath of fresh air in the Eliteserien over the past 12 months, particularly when playing at the Aspmyra. Under the current coaching set-up, Glimt have bagged W15-D4-L1 on home soil, triumphing in the HT-FT market and covering the -1 handicap on 11 occasions, whilst averaging 2.85 goals in Eliteserien action here.
Thus far in 2020, the Glimt gang have notched at least twice in 10 of their opening 11 outings, striking three times or more on eight encounters. All games have crossed the Over 2.5 Goals barrier with their gung-ho approach allowing opposition outfits to get on the scoresheet in nine of those matches also; contests are rarely dull affairs.
The raw numbers are supported by overwhelmingly impressive performance data figures too. Bodo are posting an Expected Goals (xG) ratio figure above the 73% mark – a million miles better than any of their divisional rivals – whilst also averaging a full three shots from inside the box more than the next best Eliteserien side per-game.
Glimt to put Godset under serious strain
On Sunday, Bodo/Glimt welcome mid-table Stromsgodset to the Aspmyra. The visitors arrive on the back of a welcome 3-1 success over Brann, just their second victory in eight Eliteserien fixtures since MD3 (W2-D2-L4). Henrik Pedersen’s posse have posted a solitary shutout across their opening 11, leaking twice or more in seven of those showdowns.
The 2013 champions have tended to toil against the league’s elite, returning four defeats (all by at least a two-goal margin) in five meetings with top-six outfits, whilst their road record under Pedersen highlights a 50% loss rate from 14 away league encounters, conceding 2.07 goals on average. Not ideal when heading to the rampant league’s leaders.
Godset were stuffed 4-0 when entertaining Molde a fortnight ago and defensive absentees have played their part in a mediocre opening stanza. Goalkeeper Andreas Linde has arguably been the guests’ standout performer and he’s likely to come under plenty of pressure here with the away side conceding 1.78 xG per-game, the second-highest average.
Indeed, Stromsgodset have allowed a league-high 11.45 attempts per-game from inside their own penalty area – almost four more than the league average – and that is likely to prove their undoing in Sunday’s showdown.
Bodo/Glimt v Haugesund – Bodo/Glimt to win,Bodo/Glimt to score in Both Halves and Over 2.5 Goals (4/5 Betfair)