Granada vs Molde predictions and match preview for Thursday’s game in the UEFA Europa League. Read on for the team news, analysis and predicted lineups as the Andalusians continue their impressive debut European campaign.
- DATE: Thursday 11th March 2021
- KICK-OFF: 21:00 (local time)
- VENUE: Los Carmenes
- COMPETITION: UEFA Europa League Last 16, 1st Leg
Granada vs Molde Preview
The Nuevo Los Cármenes will once again be under lights on a Thursday night as Granada’s continental escapade extends into the Europa League last 16. Los Nazaríes have the pleasure of hosting Molde FK, the first side from Norway to reach this stage of the competition. It’s truly a battle of surprise packages and unlike the previous rounds, Granada might actually consider themselves the favourites to progress from this tie.
El Graná sent shockwaves across Europe with their 3-2 aggregate triumph over Napoli two weeks ago. Carrying a 2-0 lead from the first leg to Italy, they were really up against it when the home side took the lead in the third minute. But Ángel Montoro’s headed away goal put Granada back in the driving seat and they held on to their aggregate lead until the end of the tie. Thus a last 16 spot in their first ever UEL campaign was secured, but it came at a cost. Three players went off injured during the game and six were booked. Yangel Herrera, Ángel Montoro and Germán Sánchez are suspended for the first leg against Molde while there’s already a long list of injuries for Diego Martínez to deal with.
The injury-hit Andalusians were in Bilbao on Sunday to play against an in-form but heavily-rotated Athletic Club side. The Basques stole the win right at the death via an Álex Berenguer strike in the 92nd minute after Jorge Molina’s second-half equaliser cancelled out Asier Villalibre’s early goal. Domestic form is a bit worrying for Granada who now have only one win in their last eight games and no away win in almost three months. Although they are still comfortably in the top 10, a return to Europe might not be on the cards next season.
One bright spot recently has been new signing Domingos Quina who has two spectacular goals in his last three games. With key players unavailable, the young Portuguese might have a big role to play on Thursday.
Just like Granada, Molde were also giant-killers in the round of 32, as they knocked out Bundesliga side Hoffenheim 5-3 on aggregate with Norwegian forward Eirik Ulland Andersen the hero with three goals. The Scandinavians had to play their home leg in Spain at Villarreal’s Estadio de la Cerámica and made an unlikely comeback from 1-3 down to draw level at 3-3 before Andersen’s brace in the away leg in Sinsheim won them the tie. Erling Moe’s side haven’t played since then as their 2021 Eliteserien season doesn’t start until the first week of April.
This will be Molde’s fifth away clash against Spanish sides and they have never won here. Their last trip was a 3-0 defeat to eventual champions Sevilla in the 2015/16 UEL round of 32, a tie they lost 3-1 on aggregate.
Head to Head
- The clubs have never previously met.
As mentioned above, Granada have a host of injuries and suspensions. Herrera, Montoro and Germán are suspended while the ones out injured include Machís, Neva, Milla, Suárez, Vallejo and Gonalons.
Young forward Ola Brynhildsen is the only injured player for Molde.
Predicted Granada Starting Lineup:
Silva – Díaz, Duarte, Nehuén, Foulquier – Eteki, Vico – Kenedy, Quina, Puertas – Molina (4-2-3-1)
Predicted Molde Starting Lineup:
Linde – Haugen, Gregersen, Sinyan, Pedersen – Eilingsen, Eikrem, Aursnes – Andersen, Sigurðarson, Knudtzon (4-3-3)
Granada vs Molde Predictions
Score Prediction: Granada 2-1 Molde
It will be a tighter game than what would have been usually expected with Granada missing a lot of key protagonists. The unavailability of their first-choice back-four may mean that Molde could get an away goal especially with Andersen’s form. However, Granada’s attack should be able to breach the Norwegian defence and secure the win on the night.
UEFA Europa League Betting Tips (18+)
You can view our tips for this match and all the others in Europe this week involving Spanish teams by signing up to follow our All Competitions Portfolio on Tipstrr. You can view our profit/loss stats and success ratios there.
Please note, we don’t guarantee any long-term gains if you’re backing our predictions tips. If you do choose to bet, only stake what you can afford to lose. See BeGambleAware for more on responsible gambling.