Friday, November 15, 2019

Prediction: Norway vs Spain

Verdict: Over 2.5 goals scored – yes

Best Odds: 10/13

Bookmaker: 888sport

Spain have been one of the top teams in Europe over the past two decades and while they don’t look as unstoppable as they were roughly 10 years ago, they certainly one team to watch during the European Championship Qualifiers. Quite close to secure a berth in the 2020 EUROS, La Furia Roja will make a long trip to Norway, but their rivals know a win is their only viable result to keep their qualifying chances alive. Kick-off for this match is slated at 19:45 hrs BST.

Norway

The Scandinavian side has enjoyed a great qualification run and have suffered just one defeat after six matches (W2, D3, L1). The 47th-ranked team in the FIFA Rankings, however, have their backs against the wall ahead of this contest. Considering they sit in fourth place of the standings and two points below the second-placed Sweden, Norway must secure the three points here at all costs. Otherwise, their qualifying chances would get very complicated considering they have to battle against Romania and Sweden, two sides that are heavily expected to take maximum points in their respective matches this week against Faroe Islands and Malta, respectively. The prospects of a potential win get complicated if we consider Norway have defeated Spain just once in this century (W1, L3). But if there is one time to turn things around, it’s here.

Team News

Andre Hansen, Ruben Gabrielsen and Erling Braut Haland have all been left of the squad. All three are dealing with injuries and were part of the original squad list. The rest of the side, however, should be fit and available.

Spain

Spain have been one of the best teams during the European Championship Qualifiers if we judge them by the numbers. La Furia Roja have won their six matches to date, scoring 17 goals (2.83 per game) and conceding only three. They have not conceded more than once in every single game, and have scored at least twice in every match so far. They have a seven-point lead over the second-placed team, Sweden, and they have a realistic shot at securing their spot in the 2020 EUROS in the coming days. To make things even better ahead of this match, Spain have scored at least two goals in each of their last six away fixtures (W5, L1). They are heavily expected to extend that run in this game, knowing three more points would put them inches away from securing their European berth.

Team News

Spain do not have injury concerns ahead of this match.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Ahead of the round, only five of the 55 competing nations have scored more than Spain’s 17 goals.
  • Norway have received one or no bookings in each of their last four matches during the qualifying stage.
  • Spain have led at both HT/FT in five of their last six games of the current Qualifiers.
  • La Furia Roja have also looked very solid defensively. They have kept a clean sheet in 13 of their last 18 Euro matches.
  • Norway manager Lars Lagerback is winless in four of his last five matches against Spain (W1, D1, L3).

Conclusion

Spain have scored at least two goals in every single match of the 2020 European Championship Qualifiers thus far. Meanwhile, four of Norway’s last five matches have seen at least one side score twice. This game clearly has the potential to be an open contest given what’s at stake as well. With that information, all signs point towards this game having over 2.5 goals scored in total.

Verdict: Over 2.5 goals scored – yes

Best Odds: 10/13

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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