Norway Eliteserien – Molde v Brann Preview (10/8/20)

Match Preview

Molde returned to winning ways on Wednesday after beating Start 5-0. That was always going to be a favourable fixture facing a newly promoted side and they really racked up the score in the second half. Molde have been given some encouragement by Bodø/Glimt dropping some points in recent times but they themselves laid a total egg last weekend by losing 1-2 away to Sandefjord. If they beat Brann tonight then they’ll go one point off the top of the table, albeit having played an extra game more. Molde are usually imperious here at the Aker Stadion and have a 100% at this venue in 2020. They were also exceptional here last season and it’s a formidable venue. One problem that MFK have had recently are injuries. It feels like a number of the squad members aren’t fully fit recently and it has been defensively where most of their problems lie. Centre back is especially looking weak with Martin Bjørnbak out of action for a while and I sense they can be ‘got at’ defensively.

There is an interesting side story ahead of this game which sees the return of Vegard Forren to his former club. He was sacked by Molde after taking money out of the fine kitty to basically fund some gambling problems he had. The split certainly wasn’t amicable though and there will be some needle. Brann themselves come into the game having sacked long standing coach Lars Arne Nilsen who had been in charge for 5 years. Ex Rosenborg boss Kare Ingebrigtsen takes over but won’t be in charge for this match tonight. I am sure this will give the Brann players an extra motivational edge and they will be properly up for this game. Starting keeper Ali Ahamada is out injured and there are a couple of others ruled out but the visitors mostly look in good physical condition.

Molde haven’t lost at home for nearly two full years and Brann haven’t tasted success on this lawn since 2006! However, they did manage to draw twice against MFK last season and on paper have one of the top 3-4 squads in the division. I sense that Molde have had a hectic schedule of late and could be slightly fatigued. Brann meanwhile, have had a chance to recharge their batteries and had 9 days to prepare. The odds on Molde seem slightly short and a -1.25 Asian Handicap doesn’t interest me. Over 3.25 goals could land but Brann have the type of defenders who could put in a committed display. Overall, I think this match is best left alone and let’s see how Brann perform without Lars Arne Nilsen. My best guess is a Molde win something like 2-1, but a draw wouldn’t shock me.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet: None