At the Aker Stadion in Molde, Norway, on matchday five of the Europa Conference League, Molde will play host to Djurgardens IF of Sweden. Both teams are considered to be among the best in their respective countries.
Both teams are in strong positions to proceed to the knockout rounds of the tournament. The winner of this match will likely finish first in their group and go on to the round of 16 in the competition for this year.
Our Match Preview: Molde vs Djurgardens IF
Molde wants to restore their top spot in Norway following Bodo/success Glimt’s in the Eliteserien and Europa League. Molde has a comfortable 15-point lead over the pursuing group in Norway’s top division.
Erling Moe’s men are second in Europa Conference League Group F with seven points after four games.
Their sole setback thus far – and in all competitions since August – came against Thursday’s opponents in a 3-2 victory for Djurgarden on matchday two, so returning the favor would be a huge statement and indicate development moving into the final round of matches a week later.
Molde has been good defensively in Europe so far, keeping clean sheets in three of four group matches and being unbeaten at home.
Despite a 4-0 victory against GIF Sundsvall on Monday, Djurgarden appeared poised to lose out on a first Allsvenskan crown since 2019 as Hacken maintained a six-point lead with two games left.
Djurgarden leads Group F in the Europa League after four matches with 10 points.
The Swedish team was 4-0 up against Belgian heavyweights Gent 50 minutes last time out and held on for all three points, extending the distance to six points from the non-qualifying spots in the group.
A point in this game would put Kim Bergstrand’s men through to the next round with a game to spare, a remarkable accomplishment for a club that finished fourth and outside the European spots two years ago.
Our Team News: Molde vs Djurgardens IF
Bjorn Sigurdarson and Kristoffer Haraldseid are both out with knee injuries until at the very earliest the beginning of November, which will prevent them from playing for Molde when Djurgardens comes to visit on Thursday night. Molde will be without several other players as well.
Due to a cruciate ligament injury that he sustained in May, Molde forward Eirik Ulland Andersen is out for the foreseeable future and will not participate in any of his team’s remaining matches in the group stage.
As a result of a muscle injury that he acquired early on in Djurgarden’s most recent Conference League match against Gent, defensive player Hjalmar Ekdal will not be able to go to Norway with the team.
In the medical room, where the 33-year-old has been since suffering a knee injury against Mjallby in April, Elliot Kack will be keeping Ekdal company. Kack has been there since the 33-year-old suffered the knee injury.
- Molde possible starting lineup: Karlstrom, Bjornbak, Haugan, Risa; Eriksen, Kaasa, Mannsverk, Breivik, Lovik; Fofana, Brynhildsen.
- Djurgardens IF possible starting lineup: Vasyutin, Johansson, Danielson, Lofgren, Andersson; Banda, Sabovic, Eriksson, Asoro, Holmberg, Wikheim.
Our Prediction: Molde 1-1 Djurgardens IF
On Thursday night, two teams will meet up who have the greatest defensive records in their respective domestic leagues. Because of this, we are not anticipating a high number of goals to be scored in what is expected to be a low-scoring matchup.
Even though Molde has scored 11 goals in their past four home matches across all competitions, the toughest test of the Norwegians’ credentials will come against the group leader, Djurgarden.