Sarpsborg vs Maccabi Tel Aviv
Competition: UEFA Europa League
Date: 23 August 2018
Kick-off: 19:05 CET
It’s… funny how sometimes you get “saved” by low odds. Sarpsborg visited Rijeka last week, having drawn 1-1 at home in the first leg. As I wrote back then, I did expect Rijeka to win (and obviously qualify), but their victory wasn’t paying more than 1.44, I didn’t like it, so I went for goals instead, “under 2.5”, at 2.00, and “no” on “both teams to score”, at 1.72. Surprise-surprise, it was Sarpsborg who scored in the 83rd minute (same minute they had gotten equalized in the first leg). They kept a clean sheet, and… here they are, having produced a major surprise in this season’s Europa League qualifiers. On Sunday, they lost 2-0 at Brann, a… painful defeat, as their gap to leaders Brann jumped from six to nine points. Not that they had real chances of catching them, but… you live and die with dreaming…
Maccabi Tel Aviv hosted Pyunik last week, having drawn without goals in Armenia, a week earlier. I expected them to win and qualify, I expected them to score up to two goals, not more, but I didn’t expect them to concede. They did, very early, in the 10th minute, and at that point, they needed two goals to qualify, without conceding again. That 0-1 stayed until the 56th minute. That’s when they equalized, and you could really tell it was a matter of time before they scored again. It took them 12 minutes, they made it 2-1 in the 68th, and after that, they looked very cautious, as conceding a second goal would mean the end of their European adventure for this season. On Sunday, they faced city rivals Hapoel Tel Aviv, and once again, they conceded first. They went on to match the result of their game against Pyunik, and not just that, but they scored twice more, to finish the game triumphant, 4-1. Maccabi have played eight official matches this season, have won five, drawn in three, still undefeated.
Previous five matches:
Brann vs Sarpsborg 2-0
Rijeka vs Sarpsborg 0-1
Sarpsborg vs Lillestrom 2-0
Sarpsborg vs Rijeka 1-1
Stabæk vs Sarpsborg 1-3
Maccabi Tel Aviv vs Hapoel Tel Aviv 4-1
Maccabi Tel Aviv vs Pyunik 2-1
Pyunik vs Maccabi Tel Aviv 0-0
Radnički Niš vs Maccabi Tel Aviv 2-2
Maccabi Tel Aviv vs Beitar Jerusalem 1-0
Sarpsborg’s next game is on Sunday, again at home, versus Kristiansund (Norway championship). Same day, Maccabi Tel Aviv will be hosting Maccabi Haifa (Israel championship).
Sarpsborg vs Maccabi Tel Aviv: Head to head Stats
Sarpsborg have played very few international matches before, and have never faced a team from Israel.
Sarpsborg vs Maccabi Tel Aviv: Prediction
Maccabi are considered favorites to win, but I like the hosts’ chances of earning at least a draw.
Sarpsborg vs Maccabi Tel Aviv: Betting Tips
Sarpsborg’s win in “draw no bet” is at 2.25, with their double chance at 1.66.