Falkenbergs v Djurgarden | Sunday 1st November 2020, 16:30
We’re very much entering the home straight in the Swedish Allsvenskan and only five matches remain in the current season. Both Falkenbergs and Djurgarden head into this Sunday encounter very much with something to play for considering this is second from bottom at home to second from top.
Whilst Djurgarden are indeed sitting second in the table, they do still face a bit of an uphill task of backing up their title win of last season. They is because they sit eight points behind Malmo with just 15 points to play for.
Of course, it isn’t over until it is over, but Malmo have only lost three games all season and it would take a big collapse for Jon Dahl Tomasson’s side to lose out now. Djurgarden however are doing this best and three wins in succession have reduced that gap.
It is usually this time of the season when Sunday’s away team come into their own, so it is just unfortunate for them that Malmo very much got a head-start in that regard.
Nevertheless, they’re in good nick and travel to lowly Falkenbergs firmly expect a fourth win in a row. A big part of their success is their tremendous defensive record, which is the third-strongest in the division. Eight clean sheets further backs that up, and four of those came from within their six away victories. Concentration on the road is key.
As mentioned, Falkenbergs are struggling at the moment and it is likely to go down to the final game or two to determine if they will either be relegated, be forced into a play-off or indeed complete the great escape. They actually started the season well, but have been on a steady decline ever since, and that is reflected in the fact that following a five-game unbeaten run in July/August, they backed it up with just two wins in 12 league clashes.
To their credit, they have won two of their last three at home, although both triumphs came against clubs in mid-table with nothing really to play for. Those remain their only home wins of the season in Allsvenskan action, but they will take heart from the fact they held Norrköping and Hacken to home draws, and both are positioned in the top-four. That came much earlier in the season however.
Djurgarden are a team that generally gets the job done against the weaker teams in the league. Of their seven league defeats this season, five of those came to clubs currently in the top-six. They also especially enjoy this head-to-head battle as well, and eight consecutive victories versus Falkenbergs suggests they don’t necessarily travel in fear.
They of course need to win, but deep down they probably acknowledge the title is unlikely, but finishing in the top-three is anything but certain, so they can’t afford to take their foot off the gas.
I like the away side here, but they’re odds-on and we need to boost the odds for you. Djurgarden Win and Under 5 Goals pay 20/21 (Bet365) on the bet-builder and getting just shy of evens on that looks a pretty good call. Combined, both teams have played 50 league games this season, and only four of those contained five or more goals, so we’d be pretty unlucky for those numbers to increase this weekend.
Rosenborg v Start | Sunday 1st November 2020, 17:00
Another season whose season is soon coming to a conclusion is the Norwegian Eliteserien, although most teams still have eight games remaining, which is still roughly a quarter of the entire campaign.
Just like the Swedish game above, I have pinpointed an encounter where both teams have something to play for. Rosenborg are hunting down a European spot, whereas Start are scraping for their lives just to stay in the division.
Those of you who have followed Norway this season will know that it has all been about Bodo/Glimt, and they are potentially only two games away from securing their first-ever top flight league title. Whilst they have been a breath of fresh air, the likes of Rosenborg and Molde will feel as though they have unperformed.
Rosenborg firmly have the greatest budget in the league, so they will have be rueing their poor start to the season. Things have turned around for them however and bringing back their former boss Åge Hareide, who previously won the league and cup double in 2003, and has also managed Denmark in recent years, is probably a signal of intent from the club that they mean business.
The form guide over the last 10 games is probably testament to how next season may look as Rosenborg are the only unbeaten side in that period. In fact, they haven’t lost a league game since August 2nd where losing narrowly away to Odd, and the only game they’ve lost since Hareide has returned was at home to PSV Eindhoven in a UEFA Europa League qualifier. They’re in great form, and should beat Start with ease on Sunday.
Let us focus on Start now and try to assemble a few reasons as to why they’ve struggled this season. It goes without saying that they have a few defensive issues, and they would have the worst defence in the league if rock-bottom Aalesund weren’t in the picture. Their away record certainly has not helped their cause and just a measly three away points all season, which were three draws, highlights how timid they are on the road. They’re winless on their travels and only Aalesund can also say that.
Start have struggled against the bigger clubs as well and if their two away visits to current top two Bodo/Glimt and Molde, they returned losing 6-0 and 5-0 respectively. Believe it or not, they lost 3-2 away at Aalesund as well, plus they’ve won on only one of their past 14 visits to Rosenborg, including losing each of the last five.
You are looking at odds of around 4/11 on a home win on Sunday, and that is course completely understandable. That price is just about at the right mark for us to delve into a bet-builder and we won’t have to do a great deal to increase it. Therefore, the recommended play is Rosenborg Win and Over 2 Goals, which pays 20/21 (Bet365) on the bet-builder.
Nine of Rosenborg’s 11 home league battles this season have ended above 2.5 goals, and they’ve specifically averaged around 3.55 goals per game. Only just slightly below that number is what you’ll get for average goals in Start’s league away contests in the 2020 season. Also, of their six overall defeats to the current top-six, they too have all finished with three goals or more. I can just only see quite a convincing home win.