2013 UEFA Champions League Preview: Sligo Rovers vs. Molde

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Updated: July 15, 2013
Molde
Molde | © fifa.com

 

Irish Sligo Rovers is set to face Norwegian Molde in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round on July 18. The Airtricity League Premier Division victors and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s titleholders will power up the Galway Sportsgrounds to blow away spectators of a massive derby, with the second leg scheduled to take place at the Aker Stadion on July 25.

 

Under Solskjaer’s supervision, Molde have won back-to-back Norwegian titles. Thanks to a sizable number of African imports, the Norwegian side has a mighty throng of warriors. This means that Sligo should be more serious of bulking up. The last time it faced Norwegian opponent, they were pounded 4-0 by Lillestrom in the 1996 Intertoto Cup.

 
Should Sligo overcome Molde, they will still need to topple two more teams to advance in the group stage. Sligo Rovers main man Ian Baraclough, who trained for his UEFA ‘A’ License with Solskjaer at Lilleshall in England several years back, is arming new strategies to finish the task right.

 

 Sligo

Sligo | © sligotoday.ie

 

Baraclough, citing his side’s opponent’s landline domestic wins, also aims to develop similar supremacy in his own country. It will try to get to Molde and take in a commanding match similar to what it did last year against Spartak Trnava.

 
Molde’s most recent matches have been remarkable. Although it created a draw with Valerenga (3-3) and Viking (1-1), it bagged the best scores for three consecutive matches: against Sarpsborg 08 (3-1), Mjodalen (2-0), and Tromso (2-3). Sligo, meanwhile, also flaunts a solid track record. It may have posted a draw with St. Patrick’s (1-1) and lost scores to Cork City (3-1) but it nevertheless managed to knock down three other teams: Limerick (0-4), Shelbourne (0-2), and UCD (5-2).

 
The tournament will be a close-range combat and may possibly end up in a draw.