UEL Match Preview: Molde vs Granada Predictions

Molde vs Granada

Molde vs Granada 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 target a Quarter Final place.

  • DATE: Thursday 18th March 2021
  • KICK-OFF: 18:55 (CET)
  • VENUE: Puskas Arena, Budapest
  • COMPETITION: UEFA Europa League Last 16, 2nd Leg
  • Granada lead 2-0 on aggregate

Molde vs Granada Preview

Puskas Arena
Puskas Arena via OD Pictures, CC BY-SA 4.0

Granada travel to Budapest for the second leg of the Europa League round of 16 to face Norwegian outfit Molde at the Puskás Aréna on Thursday. The match, originally scheduled to be played at the Aker Stadion in Molde was shifted to the Hungarian capital because of the COVID-19 quarantine restrictions in Norway. Avoiding the chilly trip up north further puts Granada in an advantageous position in this tie, while they already have a 2-0 lead from the first leg last week.

It was a complete performance from Diego Martínez’s men who took the lead through Jorge Molina before the half hour mark and were in total control in the first half. The visitors were reduced to ten men after Martin Eilingsen was booked twice within three minutes in the second half. El Graná doubled their lead through Roberto Soldado’s brilliant volley 15 minutes from time to cap off another victorious European night at the Nuevo Los Cármenes. What made the win more impressive was the fact that the injury and suspension-hit Granada side had only one senior outfield player on the bench. The long and hard season has taken a toll on the squad but they’re still providing the results.

It is exactly the same first leg scoreline Granada had against Napoli in the previous round last month. Albeit being the heavy underdogs in that tie, they were able to defend the lead in Italy and book the last 16 spot. Evidently, the job this time shouldn’t be as difficult as it was against Napoli but Diego Martínez wouldn’t approach this with any less degree of caution. He will, of course, be boosted by the return of key players from suspension in the shape of Herrera, Montoro and Germán.

The latter was on target in Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Real Sociedad, deflecting Víctor Díaz’s long range attempt into the back of the net in the second half. It was Granada’s fourth straight home win in all competitions and a win which took them to 8th spot in LaLiga, potentially within four points of European qualification.

This is one of the rare occasions when Molde are experiencing spring time European football. The inability to play their home leg in Molde will certainly hurt the Norwegians who have lost just one of their last 14 European home games. Furthermore, the suspension of Martin Eilingsen adds to the worries as the 25-year-old is one of Molde’s bright spots in Europe this season with four goals and an assist. In perhaps positive news, Erling Moe’s side have had a full week off rest to prepare for this clash. Their 2021 Eliteserien season, originally scheduled to start in early April, was postponed to May due to further COVID-19 restrictions being imposed in Norway.

Head to Head

  • Granada won the 1st Leg 2-0 last week.
  • The clubs had never previously met.

Team News

Ola Brynhildsen continues to be on the sidelines for Molde while Martin Eilingsen is suspended after being sent off in the first leg.

Yan Brice Eteki and Dimitri Foulquier were the latest ones to pick up a knock on Sunday for Granada. Jesús Vallejo and Maxime Gonalons could be fit to start. Doubtful players include Luis Suárez, Darwin Machís, Carlos Neva, Luis Milla and Alberto Soro.

Predicted Molde Starting Lineup:

Linde – Haugen, Gregersen, Sinyan, Pedersen – Hussain, Eikrem, Aursnes – Andersen, Sigurðarson, Knudtzon (4-3-3)

Predicted Granada Starting Lineup:

Silva – Díaz, Duarte, Germán, Vallejo – Herrera, Gonalons – Kenedy, Montoro, Puertas – Molina (4-2-3-1)

Granada vs Molde Predictions

Score Prediction: Molde 1-1 Granada (Granada to win 3-1 on aggregate)

Granada already have one big foot in the quarter finals. Although Molde did step on the gas after going two goals down in the first leg, they never really looked like breaching Silva’s goal. As was the case in the previous round, one away goal will fully kill the tie for Granada. The Andalusians shouldn’t have to push too hard and could seal comfortable qualification with a draw.

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About Akhil Rawat 41 Articles
Based in New Delhi, Akhil follows LaLiga and Spanish football religiously. Currently a novice in the world of football writing, he fancies expressing his passion for the league through words.