EUROPEAN football fanatic Mark O'Haire (@MarkOHaire) heads to Sweden on Sunday for his latest best bet on the continent.
GIF Sundsvall v Gothenburg | Sunday 1st September 2019, 14:00
It was great to get the European NAP back in the Winners Enclosure last weekend as goals flowed in the battle at the bottom in Norway. I’m staying in Scandinavia on Sunday as we bid to make it three profitable weekends in four with a fancy from Sweden.
GIF Sundsvall’s five-year stay in the Swedish top-flight could be coming to a close. Traditionally a yo-yo club, the Giffarna tabled four consecutive bottom-half finishes before an eye-catching eighth-placed return last year, playing some of the Allsvenskan’s most aesthetically-pleasing football.
Due to financial restrictions, Sundsvall leaned heavily on their Spanish influenced partnership with a third party consulting firm, to great effect too. Seven of their squad are of Iberian origin and their ease on the ball, and forward-thinking approach, caught plenty of teams out last term. However, opponents have since worked Joel Cedergren’s team out.
Sitting rock-bottom of the Allsvenskan and without a victory since April, the Giffarna are now four points from safety with only nine games to play. Sunday afternoon’s hosts have picked up only four points from a possible 45 (W0-D4-L11) and have kept their sheets clean just once across the whole campaign ahead of their contest with Gothenburg.
Gothenburg pinched Ferran Sibila from Sundsvall in the close season – the Spanish assistant coach known to have implemented GIF’s new-look style – and the former Swedish giants have been enjoying an upturn in fortunes. Chasing a top-three finish – and Europa League qualification – the Bavitt have been a competitive and consistent beast in 2019.
Of course, IFK are a big club with rich tradition in this region, but like many, financial difficulties have meant new approaches are necessary. Gothenburg have been fielding one of the league’s youngest squads and the current crop have been creating quite a buzz, suffering only three defeats in 21 tussles this term, losing once since April.
It’s easy to make a case for the guests and odds-against quotes hold plenty of appeal. However, I’ll be taking a slightly safer route due to Gothenburg’s penchant for stalemates, plus the fact that only five of Sundsvall’s 10 matches on their artificial home surface have seen opponents depart with maximum points.
Gothenburg double chance and Over 1.5 Goals looks the best option at 8/11 (Betfair). As already mentioned, the visitors have suffered only three losses all season, and come up against a Sundsvall side that’s tabled just two triumphs across their own 21 tussles. What’s more, IFK are unbeaten on their league travels in eight (W4-D4-L0), scoring twice or more on five occasions.
Meanwhile, goals have been a regular occurrence in both teams’ outings. 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.
The odds imply this selection has a 58% chance of landing and all available metrics suggest there’s value in that price.
GIF Sundsvall v Gothenburg – Gothenburg double chance and Over 1.5 Goals (8/11 Betfair)