Kristiansund v Bodø/Glimt
Date: 18th June
Kick off: 17:00
Winless and firmly rooted to the bottom of the table, Kristiansund will not relish the visit of two-times champions Bodø/Glimt to the Kristiansund Stadion. In the last seven outings between the two clubs, the visitors have won all of them to the tune of 18 goals scored and a paltry four conceded. Again on Saturday, it is already looking like a tall order for the hosts to get anything out of this late kick-off.
Despite a promising showing last season where they finished the league in sixth place, Kristiansund have struggled this Spring, losing all but one of their opening seven fixtures and scoring only five times in the process. This profligacy in front of goal is obviously an issue, but their habit of folding early – having conceded in the first half of play in six matches already – often leads to them desperately seeking a goal in the later stages, thus leaving themselves open to further damage.
Glimt, meanwhile, are experts in scoring early and scoring late; a devastating combination of punches that still means they are one of the favourites for the title in spite of their shaky early-season form. Amahl Pellegrino, Ola Solbakken and Runar Espejord will pose a threat to even the staunchest of Eliteserien defences.
Thus, having not lost to Kristiansund for over a decade, Kjetil Knudsen’s men are clear favourites for the tie. Expect them to win this one with ease.
Best Bet: Bodø/Glimt to Win @ 1.57
Lillestrøm v Rosenborg
Date: 19th June
Kick off: 17:00
Traditionally two of Norway’s biggest clubs, the fortunes of these two footballing behemoths are hardly aligned in 2022. Lillestrøm, having finished inside the top four in their first season back in Eliteserien last year, now sit comfortably astride the league standings, having not lost a game in their opening ten fixtures. Rosenborg, on the other hand, have been hampered by their inability to turn draws into wins; the Trondheim outfit have shared the spoils in five of their opening nine matches.
Fortunately for spectators, Lillestrøm vs Rosenborg is a match that typically produces goals; in their last four outings, the two teams have shared 12 apiece, and the hosts enjoyed a well-earned double last campaign over the country’s most successful club. Already this year, Geir Bakke’s Kanarifugla are outscoring every other side in the division, with goals coming from all areas of the pitch. Striker Akor Adams has four, the centre-back pairing of Igoh Ugbu and Tom Pettersson have five between them, while forward players Ylldren Ibrahimaj, Holmbert Fridjonsson and Pal André Helland have all chipped in with important strikes. Gjermund Åsen, the league leader in assists, pulls these considerable strings as they continue to vastly outpace their Expected Goals (xG) tally.
Similarly though, Rosenborg enjoy making opposition goalkeepers earn their keep. They’ve scored 15 goals, including a brace against Glimt, three goals apiece against Sandefjord and Haugesund, while in their final game before the break, they routed Vålerenga at the Intility to the tune of four goals. RBK are waxing in power, but they remain susceptible at the back.
Lillestrøm should have enough firepower to see off Rosenborg, but don’t expect the 26-times champions to succumb without a fight.
Best Bet: Lillestrøm Draw no Bet @ 1.45
Odd v Molde
Date: 19th June
Kick off: 17:00
Seemingly every year, Molde are installed as one of the favourites for the title and with good reason. Since 2011, they’ve been crowned champions four times and have only finished outside the top two on three occasions. As expected, 2022 is no different, with Vestlandet club once more sitting ominously towards the right end of the table.
Despite losing top scorer Ohi Omoijuanfo over the winter period, Erling Moe’s side have barely skipped a beat. Mountainous young winger Magnus Grødem has been in excellent form with four goals in his last five outings, while veteran midfielder Magnus Wolff Ekirem – playing in a more advanced role this year – has been similarly imperious with four assists and three goals in his last six appearances.
Odd, in contrast, are a team of dichotomy: they’ll play attractive football enroute to a solid win, or they’ll splutter and struggle their way to a demoralising loss. There is no in-between. History is not on Odd’s side either when it comes to fixtures against Molde. The last time they beat their visitors was in 2018, and since then they’ve suffered six defeats including 5-0 and 4-1 thumpings.
Odd will be looking over their shoulders at the likes of Tromsø and Vålerenga, as conceivably it has to be a comfortable Molde victory.
Best Bet: Molde to Win @ 1.91