Tippeligaen – Stromsgodset v Molde Preview (27/8/16)

SIF-MFK

Stromsgodset preview

Godset have really gone off the rails. They are winless in five games and lost three of those encounters. They couldn’t even beat lowly Start at home in their most recent fixture at Marienlyst Stadion. Something isn’t right and they’ve lost their attacking drive, looking much more toothless upfront. Things aren't helped by the suspension of key man Marcus Pedersen today, whilst fellow frontman Tommy Hoiland is also banned. I just look at the current Godset options in attack for this match and nothing really strikes any fear. This isn’t the natural way this side plays its football. The coach likes to be positive, have a go, and be on the front foot. But I’m not sure he’s got the weapons at the moment, certainly not today. SIF might have to rely on defence to get a result in this one. They have a superb 8-3-0 record at home and nobody has beaten them here yet in 2016. SIF always have to be respected at Marienlyst.

Molde preview

MFK endured a really difficult mid season but seem to have come out of that tricky spell. They won for the third game in a row last week, beating Odd 4-2 in what was a real topsy-turvy game. I don’t think Molde are as good as what they were when the likes of Elyounoussi & Gulbrandsen were at the club, but they are on the road to recovery and confidence seems improved. I have noticed a big difference in Molde’s defending of late. Yes, they conceded twice last week but both of those were from set pieces. From open play, they actually look more disciplined. It’s taken coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a while to finally realise it, but they can no longer rely on just pure attacking force to win matches. I was impressed how they game managed at Aalesund in their previous away fixture, whilst still maintaining a decent attacking threat. The Molde injury issues haven’t completely disappeared but things have improved a little bit. The main issues remain in defence where the likes of Joona Toivio are ruled out.

Conclusion & betting analysis

Matches between these two teams usually contain goals, as was the case earlier in the season when Molde won 4-2. The last three H2Hs at this stadium have all been won by Godset, but I think they’ll do well to pick up three points today. I haven't been impressed with them recently and don’t believe they are offering anywhere near their traditional threat level going forwards. Couple that with some improved Molde tactics and defending, and things are setting up fairly well for the visitors. Lets not forget Molde themselves are in transition though. Most would agree their team is weaker than it was at the start of the season. A few months, or even weeks ago I would totally bet the overs in this match, but I’m not interested now. My feeling is for a draw or Molde win, but this actually feels like a tricky match to predict. The bookies look to be pretty spot on with their lines and I’m happy to give this one a miss. Godset are hard to beat at home so I’ll predict they manage to grind out a draw.

Prediction: 1-1
Recommended bet: None