Aron Wright - July 16, 2018
Molde vs Glenavon
Europa League First qualifying round
Date: Thursday, 19 July 2018
Kick-Off at 17:00 UK/ 18:00 CET
Venue: Stadyen Dynama (Minsk)
Glenavon themselves will be surprised to have got a 2-1 win against Molde in the first leg.
The Northern Irish side had previously lost all of their 8 qualifying matches and were subject of some heavy battering.
Molde were in stunning form until then having scored 12 goals in three games. However, the recent defeat is a wake-up call and we can expect them to respond in a positive manner and overturn the deficit on Thursday.
The overall h2h stand at 1-0 for Glenavon after the surprise win at their home turf last week.
Molde started the Eliteserien campaign in slower fashion, but their most recent form has been extraordinary, with Molde bagging an impressive nine-goal tally in back-to-back wins over top-half rivals Brann and Valerenga in last two league fixtures.
The team led by the former Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer won three straight matches in the domestic league with an amazing goal difference of 12-1 along the way.
To make it more impressive, we will mention they destroyed table-toppers Brann 0-4 on the road ten days ago, just a week before they bagged five past Valerenga.
Even without Molde’s amazing form, Glenavon would be massive underdogs ahead of the first leg and they still remain the same despite the surprise win. It is the obvious gulf in quality between Northern Irish and Norwegian football.
Glenavon were nowhere near the title quest in their domestic league for more than half a century and they head into this with a devastating Europa League record of eight defeats in eight matches. They conceded at least two goals in each of last six Europa League fixtures, including as many as eight in a humiliating elimination to Iceland’s KR two years ago.
We fear Gary Hamilton’s men could be in for a similar destiny this time, considering Molde will be in an aggressive mood after what happened in the first leg of the tie.