Ostersunds vs Bilbao

Ostersund will welcome the Spanish side Athletic Bilbao to northern Sweden, where so many teams have now fallen short and wondered what just really happened? Because, after all Ostersund are not in Europa League due to finishing high up in the standings domestically. If you have not thought about it - Ostersund won the Swedish cup which granted them a place in the qualification rounds and they impressively made it all the way.

In a group with Zorya, Hertha Berlin and Athletic Bilbao, many people raised their eyebrows wondering who Ostersund actually were. It is their first ever appearance in any form of European competition, so it is understandable that they have flown under the radar. However, if following Swedish football, their success comes as no surprise. It should be remembered that only 5 years ago, this team played in the fourth tier in Sweden (equivalent to League Two in England).

They have built a concept based on unique ways - very non-Swedish. To begin with, they have kept the same coach Graham Potter since 2011, who has been applying his philosophy on the team for several years now. They conduct recruitments differently than their competitors - often signing former rejected players at various clubs to give them a chance in Ostersund to save their careers, or generally signing players with a trouble maker reputation. They have created a very strong team spirit and together created this journey. It is the result of 5-6 years of consistent work that we see today in Europa League.

With a very physical midfield, Ostersund are good at dispossessing opponents where Fouad Bachirou and Brwa Nouri are the keys. On the flank, Ken Sema is incredibly physical and good one-on-one, while up front the Iranian international striker, Saman Ghoddos, have been leathal and a constant threat with his trickery and shooting ability.

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The Swedes play a very possession based football with a lot of movement and position exchanges. It works best at artificial turf, but they have also managed to be more cynical when playing at natural turf for example in Ukraine where they beat Zorya with 0-2. Ostersund then played at home against Hertha Berlin and won 1-0. Next in the victim row - Athletic Bilbao? Perhaps.

The Spanish side are no strangers to anybody and not in European football either. It is a side with many known players, but this will be their biggest shock trip of their careers to come to northern Sweden to a town with no international airport, which makes it overly complicated to get to the venue. Adding the weather factor - forecasts suggests it will be 0 degrees celcius at kickoff, with rain and dazzle. This is perfect conditions for the hosts, but for Bilbao, it will be something different from the current summer like weather in Spain. The pitch is artificial, which is something Bilbao have not played on, and the arena is compact.

Bilbao have had a difficult start to the group stages with one 0-0 draw against Hertha Berlin, and a loss at home versus Zorya. Depending on how serious Bilbao considers Europa League, this becomes a must-win situation for the Spanish side, in these tough conditions. Bilbao will likely want to get the game done and dusted and get off the pitch as quick as possible and struggle to maintain intensity and focus throughout the game.

At home, Ostersund have been underdogs against Galatasaray, PAOK, Hertha Berlin and won each time at home. Their confidence is boosted, the stadium is sold out and the weather conditions will make it unpleasant for todays opponent more than anybody in this group. The reason for this preview is that betting on solely a well known European name can be dangerous. The odds will always reflect the names of the teams. Bilbao is a more known team than Ostersund, hence the odds are very skewed. I will not bite on the team names - and gladly take the hosts to cause another upset, which is very overpriced. The hosts will thrive and be motivated to play a well known opponent and take a giant step towards qualifying.

Bet: Ostersunds 0 Asian handicap @ 3.55 with Unibet
Result: 2-2 (draw)
 * Odds as of post published time and are subject to change.
+109 -25


  1. alex says:

    The weather ,artificial pitch plus team spirit should kill basques. It takes time for basques with new coach to achieve something. The great preview.

  2. Tee4Hero says:

    A masterpiece analysis…Well done Sween

  3. aron50 says:

    Best for Bilbao is lose and get rid of Europa league…who wants to play that competition anyway?

  4. RadoX says:

    Ostersunds to win! Jackpot!! But this is way safer. Nice analysis.

    Good luck!

  5. pacifier says:

    Looks good.

  6. Chiriku says:

    Fantastic true analysis. Keep up!

  7. aron50 says:

    Sweem excellent preview but I got feeling that Bilbao will win.

  8. Amos says:

    Sweem, how did u go this deep? As if u r a player in both da clubs and live in both their nations.
    Great Information, keep it up.

  9. Allanylle says:

    After pacifiers Real Madrid vs Tot prediction went through, I believe this might as well see the light of day

  10. Sweem says:

    – Funny story actually, I have been living in both nations (Sweden/Spain) but the preview is not based on that. I know what it looks like in Ostersund. For a high quality club to visit northern Sweden is like arriving to a new world. It is a culture shock, and I believe that this has been a huge factor for Ostersunds victories – they surprise teams.

    Absolutely Bilbao can win, but they have to skip their “Spanish” tiki-taka and be ready to get greasy and physical to have a chance. This is artificial, it changes a lot in how to approach a game. That is my view

    For me, huge value bet that should not be more than 2.20 DNB in my opinion. So, 3.55 is a must try (small stakes) for me

    – Sweem

  11. Sweem says:

    If you think Bilbao will win, how come you (aron50) have written a preview suggesting 1X on another site? ;)

  12. Bosman says:

    Haha :) aron50 is always contradictory, It is important that he is present to comment, whether there is logic, connections or not… funny guy

  13. Bannion says:

    This is a tricky one. I am tempted to try the Swedish side. Then again Bilbao comes here with a good team and there is a huge gap in talent for them and this is a must win for them. It is true that Spanish sides sometimes lack motivation in these road games, but then again when in a must win situation they can surprise. These players in Spain are professionals and have used to play in rain and other hard conditions. It is not like they are freezing on the field.

    Ostersunds were lucky with their victory over Hertha for to get a penalty. And I am not sure if artificial field or cold weather gives that much advantage. To be honest they have also over played this season.

    Usually when a bet sounds too good, it is. Some weird betting fatality. I think odds are quite well balanced. Bilbao is somewhat under prized though.

    GL anyhow. Maybe I try this one or corners for either side or cards for Swedish when the markets open.

  14. aron50 says:

    Sweem I wrote that preview straight away under your suggestive preview but my guts telling me after that Bilbao will win. But I think BTTS-YES will go..F.T. 1-3

  15. cercatrovadan says:

    Aron, how do you think Bilbao can score that much goal in an unfavourable weather condition and on an unfavourable football pitch after a battling match on sunday?

  16. tito says:

    Nice preview! Please is 0 Asian handicap same as DNB?

  17. Nassboi says:

    Welkome back sweem

  18. SGumede says:

    Great stuff Its the balancing of facts that we need and not the one-sided approaches. Low scoring draw is my take

  19. starshaped says:

    doesnt he always say he has no time to write previews? (but comments on every tip)

  20. Horacio says:

    @aron50. Last week you were saying both teams to score was the worst bet in football. Of course now youre saying otherwise. Sort your act out. Getting boring son.

  21. Asein1 says:

    I will like to play home to score,how do you see it sween

  22. RadoX says:

    Odds getting higher and higher for Ostersunds… any news from this match??

  23. Nicklas says:

    Östersund is not located in northern Sweden. For example, in the city of Kiruna, north of Sweden, it is over 800 kilometers away.

  24. Sweem says:

    I would say its “upper middle” / north. For me who is from super down south (near Copenhagen border) have a tendency to refer it as “north” but you are right, could be classified as upper mid as well. Still remains, it is the most “northern” professional team Sweden have and fact remains, it is tough weather conditions during these months

    Let me just state that Bilbao will never travel this much up north on the globe ever again in their careers. Period :)

    – Sweem

  25. Stupid Af says:

    I don’t now what trust from this guy (sweem) coming from. His great preview can change your mind in no time. Did you guys remember his FK VARDAR tip?, some opposed other support but eventually I won. This is project am going in… @sweem keep it up lad, AM IN ;)

  26. Sweem says:

    It is important to emphasize that the purpose is never to change someones mind with a preview. I remember some success stories like Vardar, Malmo (when they played Shakhtar in Champions League etc) and some crazy runs we had with 10+ wins in a row – But, I also remember the opposites with 10 losses in a row. That is betting

    Previews is for informative purposes only. People don’t know Ostersund, but people know Bilbao. I can be right, and I can be wrong

    – Sweem

  27. Sweem Jr. says:

    He’s (Sweem) always amazing. His style of writing is incomparable. Swedish women are in trouble with this man-of-words

  28. MarieFR says:

    Really, really good pick Sweem! Thanks!

  29. Just another lucky bettor says:

    Very unlucky (even for the mistake in the first half), great pick as usual.

  30. Stupid Af says:

    I will never stop following your pick master @sweem … I know football can go either way but your fu**ing genius. Please don’t go dark for a while like you did! We missed you somehow ;)

  31. David says:

    I had a clean home win at 6.10 odds. Took it early. Such a shame that late 2-2 :(

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