Norway Eliteserien – Brann v Mjøndalen Preview (16/8/20)

Match Preview

Both teams head into the match on the back of important victories last week. Brann shocked everyone by beating Molde 2-1 away from home. I think few could have seen that coming but Brann really dug in hard and put bodies on the line. Brann only had a caretaker manager in charge of that game after sacking Lars Arne Nilsen. It feels like a new era at the club now after his 5 years at the helm. New man Kåre Ingebrigtsen takes over and will be on the bench for this clash vs Mjøndalen. It looks like a similar squad will be available compared to their most recent match with only left back Ruben Kristiansen an injury concern. Hakon Opdal put in a great goalkeeping performance at Molde, putting him in the frame to retain the gloves even when Ali Ahamada returns from his injury eventually.

The visitors Mjøndalen dug deep themselves to see off Haugesund 1-0 last week, bringing to an end their horror 7 gams losing streak. That sort of match sums up Mjøndalen and they will give absolutely everything to get points. They remain inside the relegation zone but are in a much better place than they were. I have continually said that MIF aren’t as bad as their results suggest and they can make life difficult for everyone with their physical and no nonsense approach. The squad does have a few injury problems ahead of this game, especially in midfield and attack. Key veteran Christian Gauseth remains out whilst the experienced duo of Aaasmundsen & Brustad are doubtful. Sondre Liseth also might not feature.

It’s interesting to note that Mjøndalen did well against Brann last season, beating them 2-1 at home and nicking a 0-0 draw here in Bergen. Theft famously had an xG of 0 and didn’t have a shot on goal during that fixture. I expect similar tactics this year as they try to park the bus and frustrate Brann. Ultimately though, I think the home team suddenly have momentum again and the appointment of Ingebrigtsen is a major boost to the team. They also have a lot more quality which should be telling over the course of the 90 mins. Brann -0.75 for me looks like the best bet and they should have enough to get the 3 points.

Prediction: 2-0

Recommended bet: Brann -0.75 Asian Handicap @1.90