Norway Eliteserien – Sarpsborg v Molde Preview (15/8/20)

Match Preview

Both teams have to be concerned about their results last weekend. Sarpsborg got absolutely battered 5-1 by Rosenborg and this was unexpected because for the most part they have been relatively solid this season. Maybe they missed starting goalkeeper David Mitov Nilsson and he looks set to be injured for this clash again. Aslak Falch isn’t a bad backup but looked rusty last week and he will be tested by one of the best attacks in the Eliteserien. I would expect coach Mikael Stahre to be unimpressed with their defennding last week and to have focused on keeping things as tight as possible in the build up. Key centre back Bjorn Inge Utvik is suspended. He usually plays in the middle of the back three as the ‘cover’ pacier defender so they could miss him in certain situations. It’s still not ideal that playmaker Mohammed Ofkir is rated doubtful and one of their best players this season Anton Saletros had his loan terminated.

Molde have had all sorts of issues recently and it feels like their injuries have ultimately caught up with them. Head coach Erling Moe expertly rotated his squad last season but it hasn't worked very well in 2020 and they have seemed disjointed, inconsistent and lacking connections. They find themselves four points behind Bodo Glimt at the top of the table and have played a game more. If they want to retain the gold medal then they have lots of work to do. The aforementioned injuries have been a big problems, especially defensively where too many big players have missed game time. Then in attack key playmaker Magnus Wolff Eikrem hasn’t been himself of late and Leke James has had a disappointing season. 

The two bets that tempt me would be Molde -0.5 and over 2.75 goals. However, I feel like Molde have suddenly become too unreliable and the performances against both Brann and Sandefjord recently put me off backing them. Over would probably be the safer and better bet but I think the natural instinct of Sarpsborg is to set up defensive and to try and frustrated. It’s possible confidence could be low on both sides so overall I’m going to leave this match alone. I predicting something like 1-2 or 1-3 away win but don’t trust my judgement enough to warrant a bet.

Prediction: 1-2

Recommended bet: None