Molde vs Sarpsborg
This game looks set to be a real entertainer. Molde have seen an average of 3.40 goals per game so far this season, with 67% of their matches landing for over 2.5 backers.
As for the visitors, Sarpsborg, their games have averaged 3.21 goals with a 64% strike rate for over 2.5.
Sarpsborg started the season a bit low on the goals front, but lately it’s been nothing but chaos in their matches.
Their last 9 have all seen over 2.5 goals scored and their matches have averaged 4.33 goals in that period.
Molde will be woefully disappointed with their season so far. The defending champions sit 12 points behind Bodo already.
They are the 2nd top scorers in the division, but an inability to keep out goals at the other end has cost them dearly.
At home they’ve been excellent, winning 5/6 and losing just once, they’ve scored 17 times in those 7 games.
They have serious firepower, creating just shy of 2 xG per game, a creativity that’s been lapped up by Ola Brynhildsen, who has 7 goals in his last 7 league games.
Sarpsborg are having a better season than predicted, however have struggled recently, losing their last in all comps. The goals don’t stop though, those 3 losses saw scorelines of 2-3, 3-1 and 5-1.
The 3-1 was against this very opponent, as Molde knocked them out of the Cup.
Flamengo vs America MG
We’re taking in the evening sights of Brazil for this one, as 2nd placed Flamengo face rock bottom America MG.
I’m surprised Flamengo aren’t even shorter than the 1.40 on offer here. The visitors have been absolutely hopeless this season.
They’ve accumulated just 9 pints from 14 games and are winless in their last 5 league outings.
On the road, it’s even worse. They’ve played 7, drawn 2, lost 5. They’ve also shipped 18 goals in those games, the highest in the league.
By comparison, Flamengo have conceded 18 in total.
No side in the Serie A has scored more than the hosts and they’ve only lost 1 of their last 11 SA matches.
This is a side absolutely packed with quality. Both Pedro and Everton Ribeiro went to the World Cup with Brazil.
They’re marshalled in midfield by Thiago Maia and Gerson.
Albeit ageing, David Luiz and Filipe Luis play at the back.
Uruguayan winger Georgian De Arrascaeta is a tremendous talent, and in tangent with the infamous Gabriel Barbosa or ‘Gabigol’ this is a side that could mix it with plenty of European squads.
On paper, these two sides aren’t remotely close and I expect Flamengo to make that abundently clear on Saturday night.
Flamengo average an impressive 1.84 xG at home, whilst the visitors afford a hefty 1.99 xGA on their travels.
Wuhan Three Towns vs Meizhou Hakka
Bit of a switch up here, as the next selection in my acca sees us head to China.
The CSL has lost some ground, especially with the explosion of Saudi Arabia and the MLS. There are still plenty of well known names here, on big wages, but the league and teams look vastly different to what they did a couple of years ago.
Wuhan currently find themselves 8th int her bale, but they’re only 6 points behind 3rd. They’ve avoided defeat in 14/17 games this season.
Their home form is a bit lacklustre. They can struggle to get games across the line, but a 2-1 win in their last home match should set good foundations for another here against a side who are woeful on the road.
Meizhou have won just 1 game on their travels this season and they’ve lost 4 of their last 5 away matches.
Wuhan’s foreign contingent is very, very strong.
Abdul-Aziz Yakubu has 7 goals this season, he’s one of the top scorers in the league.
They’ve also got the creativity of Brazilian’s Davidson and Ademilson, as well as the vastly experienced Nicolae Stanciu.
Hakka don’t have the same luxury on this front, with a much weaker contingent of foreign players, which is the key to success in this division.
The hosts have the advantage in quality here, hence their short price, and they should capitalise.
Norrkoping vs Degerfors
We turn our attention to the Swedish Allsvenskan for the final game of the treble.
And the focus here is well and truly on Degerfors.
They sit just three places from the bottom and have conceded an incredible 40 goals in just 16 league games.
That averages to 2.50 goals conceded per match and is the worst record in the league by a hefty margin.
They haven’t kept a clean sheet either at home or away or season.
Their defence is well and truly atrocious. And you might think those stats couldn’t get any worse. But they do…
They concede 3.57 goals when playing away from home – that has to be one of the worse stats I’ve seen in some time.
This is their away record this season: 1-2, 2-1, 5-0, 6-1, 6-0, 2-0, 3-1.
And the most incredible thing about that record is that they also find the net a decent amount of time. They average a goal per game this season.
In fact, they’ve only failed to score on two occasions. The joint-best record in the league!
Norrkoping sit sixth in the table, and their defensive record is not great either. But they’re miles better than Degerfors and should be dominant here.
They average 1.53 goals per game, but given the opposition, it’s not hard to see them netting 3 or more on their own.
For comparison, IFK Goteborg sit second from bottom and average just 0.87 goals per game, but even they were able to score 6 past Degerfors.
Young Boys vs Lausanne
Young Boys begin their defence of the Swiss crown at home to newly promoted Lausanne.
YB absolutely strolled the league last season, finishing 16 points ahead of Seevette in 2nd. They lost just 4 of their 36 matches and scored 82 goals, 16 more than the next highest scorers.
They were untouchable in Bern. Their home matches saw them go unbeaten, winning 14 and drawing 4 of their 18 games.
Incredibly, they netted 54 times and conceded just 11.
In front of their own fans, they are absolute animals.
That goal scoring was helped by the return to the club of Jean Pierre Nsame. He broke the Super League goal scoring record in 2019/20, 2 years after that he had a failed trip to Italy but now is back at YB.
He scored 21 goals last season, and the club have retained his services for this season.
They also have firepower elsewhere with Cedric Itten, Christian Fassnacht and new signing Silvere Ganvoula.
Lausanne finished 2nd in the Challenge, and the jump in Switzerland between these two leagues is very severe, they’ll struggle this season.
Even in the 2nd tier, they only had the 6th best away record, and finished the season winless in 5 matches on the road.
Tromso vs Brann
4th Placed Tromsø play host to 3rd placed Brann in the Eliteserien as both sides are competing for a UEFA Conference League Qualification spot.
The hosts score 1.29 goals per game, conceding 0.93 goals per game, with both teams scoring in 8 of 14 games played this season (57%).
However, recent form has seen an upturn in both goals scored and goals conceded for Tromsø, with both teams finding the net in 7 of the last 9 league fixtures (78%).
Tromsø have also seen BTTS in 3 of their last 4 home fixtures (75%).
Tromsø’s main goal threat this season has been FWD Aegard Erlein, netting 7 in 14 starts, adding 2 assists to boot. Erlein is responsible for 50% of the goals scored by Tromsø in the league this season. With Erlein on our side, Tromsø have a great chance of finding the net.
Brann are the unlucky souls who are making the 1700km journey north for this fixture!
Fortunately for me they are no strangers to scoring and conceding goals, averaging 1.80 goals scored per game and conceding 1.2 goals per game.
Both teams have found the net in 9 of Brann’s 15 league fixtures this year (60%).
As with Tromsø, Brann have seen a recent uptick in BTTS, occurring in 6 of the last 8 games (75%).
Brann has seen BTTS come in 4 of their 7 road games (57%), and in 3 of their last 4 away games in the Eliteserien (75%).
With 11 goals in 15 starts, Brann’s Bard Finne is the man to watch for the visitors. Adding his 3 assists, Finne has played a role in 41% of Brann’s league goals to season. Without a goal in his last two, it’s about time Finne found his shooting boots again.
Looking back at the head to head record, BTTS has been the ticket as both games last year finished 1-1. Additionally, each of the last 5 games have seen both sides find the back of the net.