Tippeligaen – Molde v Sogndal Preview (16/10/16)

mfk-sogMolde preview

MFK won last week away against Tromso and it was a vital success because it snapped a poor three game period in which they struggled. In terms of performance, their overall display was very encouraging too. A trip to Tromso is never easy but they dominated their opponents in all areas. MFK were favourites on a DNB Asian handicap that day which looked short, but ultimately they did deserve their favouritism tag. With third or even second place still up for grabs, it proved that Molde are still well and truly up for the fight and look set to finish well down the stretch. It’s been a strange campaign for Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s men but there’s still plenty of quality within their ranks. The defensive duo of Jonna Toivio and Vegard Forren are likely out for the rest of the season, whilst fellow man at the back Ruben Gabrielsen is suspended.

Sogndal preview

The visitors have enjoyed a strong return to the top flight and just 1 loss in 6 games has effectively secured their survival. Sogndal can now relax and coach Eirik Bakke deserves plenty of credit for what's been a smooth, relatively trouble free campaign. Quite how Sogndal will play now remains to be seen. It might be they relax and open up a bit more and enjoy a strong finish. But realistically they have little to play for and a midtable berth is virtually set in stone. Maybe they might over relax now that the hard work is done. This is a team which relies on a solid defence, good organisation and discipline and that can be hard to maintain right until the end of the campaign when the pressure is off. Team news is favourable and they have no major injuries or suspensions.

Conclusion & betting analysis

The previous meeting between the two teams this season ended in a crazy 4-3 win for Sogndal. However, it was a match that the promoted team completely dominated and Molde were embarrassed in that contest. I’m sure they will want some revenge here and should be buoyed by their excellent win at Tromso last time out. Sogndal can’t be underestimated but Molde are the better team and are usually really strong at home. The other big factor to consider here is motivation. This is Norway, so teams will always play for some sort of pride. Sogndal won’t just roll over. But the incentive is really there for Molde to claim a medal, and therefore a European position. It’s not out of the question they could finish second and I think they will claim a comfortable win here. MFK can be backed on a -1 Asian handicap line close to the 2.0 mark. I think this is generous enough. At worst, I’d be expecting a push out of this selection.

Prediction: 2-0

Recommended bet 1 unit: Molde -1 (asian) @ 2.02