Midtjylland will host Odense at MCH Arena on Friday, July 16, in the opening round of the 2021 season. These two last clashed in March, in the quarter-finals of Landspokal Cup, when Midtjylland won 3-0 but would end up getting eliminated by Sonderjyske in the semis.
Midtjylland vs Odense
When: Friday, July 16 – 19:00 CEST
Where: MCH Arena in Herning, Denmark
Weather: Sunny, 24°C
Referee: Sandi Putros (DEN)
Midtjylland will hope they can kick off the new season with all three points. They haven’t managed that last term, but the Wolves should feel confident in their ability to do so tonight, with the new signings and Bo Henriksen as their new head coach.
Odense will look to cause an upset at MCH Arena; however, that might be easier said than done. They last won at Midtjylland’s home stadium in September 2019, marking their first away win at MCH Arena since 2014, having since dropped nine straight games.
A New Look For Midtjylland
After finishing last season in second, behind Brondby, Midtjylland made several changes in a bid to contest the team’s fourth league title. First up was the signing of the former Horsens coach Bo Henriksen left the Yellow Danger after a six-year stint.
Besides the coaching changes, Michael Benham also invested in new signings, expanding Midtjylland’s roster to 43 players. Although it’s doubtful all players will be used in this year’s campaign; it’s fair to say Henriksen will have plenty of talent to choose from as he leads Midtjylland to the top of the Danish football league.
Midtjylland have been fairly successful in recent campaigns, winning three titles since the 2014/2015 season. That includes titles from 2014/2015, 2017/18 and 2019/2020. With three titles during that stretch, Midtjylland are now tied with FC Copenhagen as the most successful Danish team over the last six years, albeit they could not emulate that success last term.
In the 2020/21 season, Midtjylland managed a 13-4-5 record and 43 points, two short of Brondby, who would win their seventh title, and their first since 2002.
The Wolves, however, should feel confident in their chances to reclaim the crown. They enter this match with a 2-0-1 record from their last three outings, which includes a loss to Lech Poznan (2-3) and two wins against Malmo FF (2-1) and Sigma Olomouc (2-1).
It’s also important to note that tonight’s match is played at MCH Arena, where Midtjylland have been fairly hard to stop. They’re without a loss on home ground in their last eight outings and were the best home side of last season, with a 8-1-2 record and 20-5 goal difference.
Odense Run It Back
Odense ended last term in eighth with an 8-4-10 record and 28 points, just one short of finishing the season inside the top-six. They claimed most of their points at home, where Odense produced 16 with a 4-4-3 record.
On the road, however, Odense won only three fixtures across the season (3-3-5). Looking at how Odense do at the HCM Arena, they lost both of their last two visits with 0-3 and 1-3, albeit managed a 1-0 victory in September 2019.
That win marked their first since April 2014 (0-2). Since then, Midtjylland beat Odense at home 11 times, translating to an 11-2 head-to-head record across the last seven years, favouring the hosts.
It goes without saying that Odense are in for a tough task tonight, granted they have done well in their pre-season friendlies. There, Odense beat Naesby (3-1), F. Amager (7-0) and drew their most recent bout with Brondby (1-1).
Some improvement is expected, following the signing of Andreas Alm as Odense’s new coach; however, unlike Midtjylland, Odense failed to acquire any big signings, so the Swede will have to make something happen with the same players that finished last term in the eighth.
Issam Jebali will keep his tag as Odense’s go-to goalscorer, having produced 10 goals last term, and finished the season as the sixth-best goalscorer.
Midtjylland vs Odense Betting Picks
Midtjylland enter the new season well prepared, with a new coach and a handful of new faces on the roster. On the other side, Odense decided to run it back from last term, which doesn’t inspire much confidence considering their unsatisfactory ending of the season.
It’s hard to make a case for the visitors here. They struggled against Midtjylland last season and are now set to face an even more potent version of an opponent that consistently won this bout at MCH Arena. With high expectations on their shoulders, Midtjylland will want a strong start of the season, and with the talent they have, they should get the job done.
Prediction: Midtjylland to win – 1.72 at Sportmarket
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