Odd continue to be Rosenborg’s nearest challengers and they managed to reduce the gap at the top to just three points last week. At one point on Saturday it looked like RBK would drop more points, but they eventually came back to beat Sarpsborg 5-2. Odd have been in midweek action in the Europa League away against Finnish side IFK Mariehamn. Fagermo’s side managed to progress after drawing 1-1 in the second leg, backing up a 2-0 home success. In the league Odd have won 9/14 games and only suffered defeat at home once this year. The key to their success is definitely a strong robust defence which keeps a high number of clean sheets. The only current injury is to key midfielder Jone Samuelsen who has now been out of action since early May.
The visitors have had a fairly poor season, winning just three times and already suffering eight defeats. Things just haven’t been right and the John Arne Riise ‘experiment’ badly failed. Riise has now retired which might be for the good of the team, allowing a more balanced lineup. Aalesund have shown some promise at times, but failed to build any consistent results together. Last week they were involved in one of the most entertaining matches of the round, losing 4-2 at Stromsgodset. That was a game which just went crazy after some early goals though, and I feel Aalesund’s natural style away from home is more conservative. They don’t have any major injury or suspension concerns ahead of this game and I’d expect them to approach the contest quite cautiously.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out how this match is going to be played. Odd will have an awful lot of possession. They are a huge possession team and like to be quite patient and intricate with their passing. Aalesund will sit back, try and soak up as much pressure as they can and hit Odd on the counter from time to time. The Odd defence is very strong though and rarely out of position much. One negative for the hosts is a slight physical disadvantage. They’ve been playing in the Europa league for the last two weeks and maybe in this fixture it might show a little bit, especially as they were on the road in Finland a few nights ago. Odd have a lot of nice possession and build up play, but do struggle to sometimes create clear cut chances against teams who defend deep. I don’t think this will be much of a classic and Aalesund might be able to frustrate Odd for a decent length of time. Ultimately though, I’d expect Odd to find a way to win and their overall pressure should eventually pay off. I think something like 1-0 or 2-0 is the most likely scoreline here.
Those of you who know me well will realise I rarely like betting on any sort of under. But there is a situation here where I’m tempted enough to back one. I have absolutely no idea how the goal line is set at 3.25 here. The simple fact is Odd aren’t what I’d call an ‘over team’ in either performance type or stats wise. Only three teams have had more under 2.5 games than Odd this season and just two of their 14 fixtures have contained four or more goals in them. Odd aren’t a team who bulldoze their way to victory, a clean sheet backed up buy a couple of goals is more their style. I really don’t see this being an exciting match. Odd could be a bit tired after playing a lot of games recently, whilst I’m sure Aalesund will sit back a lot. Only some really early goals would set this game alight. But I personally see it keeping 0-0 until the hour mark, after which Odd might find a way through. A fairer goal line would be 2.5 or 2.75. I can’t resist backing under 3.25, it’s simply too big. The handicap on Odd is in between -1.5 and -1.25. It’s a close call because I think 1-0 or 2-0 are the most likely outcomes. I won’t get involved in that market but this is a rare instance in which I’m happy to back an under, the value is too big to ignore.
Recommended bet: Under 3.25 goals @ 1.86 (minimum odds acceptable 1.75)