Tippeligaen – Molde v Odd Preview (21/8/16)

MFK-ODD

Molde preview

I say this tentatively, but it looks like Molde might be back on track. Back to back victories followed what was a horrible run of results for them. A combination of injuries, squad changes plus a few other things badly affected them this summer but maybe now these couple of wins can get them back on track. Of course, injuries are still a big problem for Molde, especially in defence. But they looked more solid at Aalesund last week, keeping a rare clean sheet. Their organisation and game management was much improved. Midfielder Eirik Hestad is suspended for this match. Molde are usually pretty strong at home and despite their mid-season slump they've still won 6 out of 10 at the Aker Stadion. Things are looking better for them right now, but it has to be remembered they've only beaten Bodo Glimt & Aalesund. This should be a much tougher test and we’ll only know if they are truly back until they perform against some of the stronger Tippeligaen sides.

Odd preview

The visitors are currently in a slump period, winning just 1 of their last 5 matches. Even that victory was only against lowly Start and could be considered as fortunate. Something has gone wrong at Odd because for most of the season is looked like they were a legitimate contender for the title. They are too far back now though and are only playing for a silver and bronze position. Fagermo’s men still have some good quality in the squad, but could be hampered in midfield today with Jone Samuelsen and Fredrik Nordkvelle both rated doubtful. Centre back Fredrik Berge is suspended.

Conclusion & betting analysis

More was expected of both these two teams this season, with Molde especially becoming a flop. They have however encountered an unsettled summer and some of their form was understandable. If they could win today then it would be their third straight victory and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men would clearly be back on track. The home team usually does well in this fixture with only one away win this century, which was actually Odd’s victory in the previous campaign. My feeling is for an open match and a Molde win. If I was in better form in this league then I’d back Molde -0.25 & over 3 goals. But I have slightly lost confidence in the Tippeligaen at the moment so I’m only backing good value picks which I’m more confident about. Molde @ 1.80 on a -0.25 handicap isn't quite big enough to tempt me. I still don’t trust their defence and Odd have to be respected. Likewise, Over 3 goals is just too big of a line for me to back today. I think this will go over, but there would maybe be a strong chance of a push. So reluctantly I will leave the game alone. I’d love to take both bets but there’s an element of uncertainty surrounding both and the odds aren’t tempting enough.

Prediction: 3-1
Recommended bet: None

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