Tippeligaen – Valerenga v Molde Preview (1/8/16)

VIF-MFK

Valerenga preview

There was massive relief for VIF last week when they beat Start 4-2 away from home. It was a much improved performance from the Oslo club and ended a run of seven games without a win. I’m not sure how much can be taken out of that affair though. Start are by far the worst team in the league and it’s to be expected that VIF get the three points there. Lets not forget that this has been a turbulent campaign for kjetil Rekdal’s men and Sunday;#’s results have done them no favours with Aalesund winning and Stabaek drawing. Ex Celtic coach Ronny Deila is taking over next year but what league will he be managing in? Right now, VIF are second bottom and they are massively in a relegation scrap. Injury news is favourable with only centre back Jonathan Nation injured. New midfield signing Magnus Lekven is included in the squad.

Mold preview

MFK’s season has completely nosedived, so much so they are now as low as ninth in the table. A shocking run of 5 defeats in their last 7 games has effectively ended their season. They now seem destined for midtable mediocrity. Of course, things haven’t been helped by losing key players like Mo Elyounoussi & Fredrik Gulbrandsen who have transferred away from the club. This has been a summer transfer window filled with activity for Molde and it hasn’t been ideal. On the field, results have been poor and they are struggling at both ends of the pitch. At some point this side will ‘click’ again, but quite when that’s going to happen I’m not sure. Centre back and captain Joona Toivio is out for the rest of the season and right back Isak Ssewankambo has been out of action long term. I’m not sure about other team news for Molde, their squad always seems to be shrouded in secrecy and Solskjaer is unpredictable as a coach.

Conclusion & Betting analysis

This is a really tough one. Neither team are in good form and I don’t personally rate either right now. Maybe Valerenga will come into the game with more confidence following that win at Start last week, but as aforementioned, I’m not entirely sure how much we can really take out of that match. VIF are still under a lot of pressure and it’s been a while since they’ve played well against a decent team. You could argue that Molde aren’t a decent team at the moment though. Solskjaer's men look completely devoid of confidence and have issues in all areas of the field. Their away record is also really poor. Even when they were in-form earlier in the campaign they struggled on the road. If a team is to win, then I’d favour Valerenga, but this is a proper pick em’ game, hence the bookies have both priced evenly up on a DNB line. I actually fancy the overs here and a goal line of over 2.75 was tempting. But it’s only a ‘feeling’ I have that this game will open up. I don’t really have a lot of evidence to support this theory and it’s equally possible both could engage in a cagey encounter. Something like a 2-2 draw wouldn't surprise me. I quite like the overs, but don’t have enough confidence to actually back them. So I’ll just watch this one and refrain from betting.

Prediction: 2-2
Recommended bet: None

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