World Football: Both to oblige in Sunday’s Eliteserien encounter

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WORLD football fanatic James O'Rourke (@JamesOR1) continues his quest for global value with a selection of hand-picked best bets from across the planet on Sunday.

Hobro v Sonderjyske | Sunday 22nd September 2019, 11:00

The Danish Superliga is very much in full swing now every team has played nine games. Things are therefore starting to level out, with Midtjylland and Copenhagen once again likely to battle it out for the league title.

When it comes to Hobro and Sonderjyske, it is mostly a case of avoiding relegation and possibly trying to inch into the top-six, which appears unlikely. Hobro finished 13th last season, but 7th the season before. Sonderjyske 11th last season, and 8th the year before. These two therefore are very similar, especially with both occupying the exact same won two, drew five and lost two record so far.

Hobro shocked the league last weekend when defeating champions Copenhagen 2-1 at home. This was mostly thanks to a blistering start by Peter Sorensen’s men, having scored twice in the opening 13-minutes, before essentially defending that lead for their lives from then on. Confidence therefore will be high within the camp, especially with a very winnable home game coming up on Sunday. Can they back it up?

I certainly have my reservations about them doing so. That may seem strange considering they’ve just defeated the best team in the league, and are now coming up against your typical run-of-the-mill Danish Superliga side.

However, consistency is more certainly not what Hobro is good at. In a weird way, the fact they won last time out to me makes it less likely they’ll win this time around. That is because they haven’t won back-to-back regular season matches since April 2018. Although they did win three relegation play-off games in succession as recently as May/June.

Sonderjyske aren’t necessarily the sort of side you want to be watching if goals are your thing. Three of their last five league contests has finished 0-0, including last time out at home to Horsens, who sit below them in the table. It means they are winless in their last six league fixtures, although they did enjoy a fairly recent heavy away cup win.

Nevertheless, they too are quite inconsistent from a win perspective. That has been an issue for a while considering they’ve won just seven of their previous 29 league matches.

They’ve lost 12 of those, which isn’t great, but it does mean they’re unbeaten in 17 of their last 29 in the league, which isn’t bad at all for a team so used to appearing in mid-table in this league. That therefore, to me, suggests that they can be quite stubborn and hard to beat, whilst having limitations in attack themselves. Their games are averaging only 2.1 goals so far, with only three teams having matches which has seen less.

Normally Hobro would be the side to back after a great win last weekend, but Copenhagen started sluggishly and normally they’d win that sort of match. Hobro really aren’t anything special, and the fact Sonderjyske are clearly favourites for this one is all you need to know.

I won’t be touching the away side either for a win perspective, but I’ll keep them on side given Hobro’s late of back-to-back wins. Sonderjyske Double Chance and Under 4 Goals pay 4/5 (Bet365). Just three of 18 games for these two teams combined as featured a minimum of four goals.

Odd v Sarpsborg | Sunday 22nd September 2019: 17:00

Whilst the Danish league is starting to find its feet, the Norwegian top flight is very much entering the final stretch. Only nine games remain in the current campaign, with Molde and Bodo/Glimt fighting it out for the title.

Odd sit in third however, eight points off the leaders. They know if they can put a run together then they have half a chance. Sarpsborg on the other hand have issues at the other end of the table, sitting joint-bottom with three teams on 19 points. They’ve won only three times all season.

We’ll start with the positive and that is Odd have certainly improved drastically from last season. They finished ninth with 40 points and they’re already only two points shy of that tally this time around. They finished third in the Eliteserien in both 2014 and 2016, but they’ve never finished any higher. Motivation is therefore high, but they’ve hit a bit of a bad patch at the worst possible time.

They’re certainly not in freefall or anything to that nature, but one win in five has certainly curtailed their momentum at a time when they needed it most. Three of those five ended in draws, although two were against league leaders Molde and Rosenborg, who sit in fourth.

As I said, that isn’t disastrous but the reality is they need some wins together if they’re to beat the top two to the top prize. Sunday therefore is mist-win, especially with the top two having potential banana skin away fixtures.

Sarpsborg on the flip side have drastically downgraded from last season, the last few seasons in fact. They finished 8th last season and unbelievably they ended up in third the year before. For them to now be seriously battling relegation suggests some issues around the club which they’ve just struggled to stop spreading.

Sarpsborg have only lost three more times than Odd, but they’ve drew the most games in the league with 10. Turning some of those into wins would’ve been vital, and it still might be if they’re to avoid the drop after seven seasons in the top flight.

What however has been noticeable is that Sarpsborg’s issues haven’t necessarily been in attacking quarters. That is in the sense that they’ve only failed to score in three of their 21 league encounters this season. Odd has failed to do so in five. Odd only have one extra clean sheet compared to the strugglers too; 4-3. Odd have also conceded just four more goals than Sarpsborg, which again highlights how Sarpsborg perhaps just don’t manage games well enough.

Sarpsborg remain one of two winless away teams in the league, so we can’t necessarily expect that to change travelling to the team sitting in third. However, Sarpsborg are good for a goal, and Odd’s desperation to win this could leave them light at the back at times. Sarpsborg lead the way in this league in relation to both teams scoring, that occurring 71% of the time (15/21). That is quite a statistic considering their overall struggles.

With that in mind, I can’t really ignore the prospect of Both Teams To Score paying out once again this weekend. Odds of 10/13 (888Sport) could be classed as quite generous considering those mentioned numbers. Odd have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 14 competitive fixtures, so we’d be a little unlucky for this selection not to pay out, all things considered.

Best Bets

Hobro v Sonderjyske – Sonderjyske Double Chance and Under 4 Goals (4/5 Bet365)

Odd v Sarpsborg – Both Teams To Score (10/13 888)

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