Norway v Northern Ireland: Haaland to be the star again

Norway are on a roll in the Nations League and Paul Robinson expects that to continue against Northern Ireland on Wednesday.

Norway v Northern Ireland
Wednesday 14 October, 19:45
Live on Sky Sports

Nations League promotion the target for Lagerbäck

The Norwegians won't be playing at next year's delayed Euro 2020 tournament following their 1-2 extra time loss to Serbia last week.

That means that their sole focus is now on getting promoted from League B in the Nations League, and they are in a good position to do so following their 4-0 thumping of Romania on Sunday.

Erling Haaland scored a hat-trick against the Romanians, and he will again spearhead the attack for Lars Lagerbäck's side against Northern Ireland.

The Dortmund striker has previous against the Irish as he netted twice in their 1-5 win at Windsor Park in September.

Northern Ireland's Nations League struggles continue

Ian Baraclough's men were beaten 0-1 by Austria on Sunday, but the truth is, it could have been a lot worse. While it will obviously disappoint the manager that his team are bottom of the group with just one point, their main priority is qualifying for the Euros next summer.

A penalty shoot-out win in Bosnia means that they are just one game away from achieving it, as they face Slovakia in November at Windsor Park.

The Irish are already three points adrift of the team in third in League B Group 1 of this competition, so with two away matches left and just one at home, it appears that relegation is almost a certainty.

With that in mind, it is likely again that the manager will rotate his team, in order to avoid fatiguing players and putting them at risk of injury.

Back the hosts to beat the handicap

The hosts are warm favourites for this fixture, with their price trading at around the 1.45 mark on the Betfair Exchange. The draw is next at 4.90, with the away win the outsider of the party at 8.80.

I can't see anything other than a Norwegian victory here. They already beat them by a four goal margin in Northern Ireland, and they appear to be saving their best for this competition.

The Irish won't be at full-strength, and although they have a couple of injuries, they are nothing major.

Obviously I wouldn't put anyone off the 1.45 on offer for the straight win, but I would much rather back Norway -2 at a much juicier 4.50.

More goals expected

Another strong bet for this clash is Over 2.5 Goals, which is not much below even money. Norway are scoring goals for fun at present, and in Haaland, they have one of the hottest strikers in world football.

The visitors will obviously set up to defend, but they weren't exactly open in the reverse fixture and still conceded five times. In Baraclough's other matches they are yet to concede more than once, but Romania, Bosnia and Austria aren't as prolific as Norway.

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