Norway welcome the visitors Sweden in the Euro Qualification – Round 2. The match will be held on Tuesday, March, 26th, at the Ulleval Stadion (Oslo).
The Ulleval Stadion (Oslo) hosts the crucial encounter – the Scandinavian derby between Norway and Sweden who compete alongside Spain, Romania, Malta, and Faroe Islands.
The hosting Norwegians do not rise above a certain level, as they don’t boast top players in their squad. Middleclassers in Europe, they featured a great 2018 football year. The side held ten encounters of which they won eight, drawed one, and conceded one. The only defeat the team suffered in Bulgaria (1:0), in terms of the UEFA Nations League fixture. Notably, they competed in the League C where they faced Cyprus and Slovenia apart from Bulgaria. The quartet did not have any clear favorite, though Norway looked more fruitful – in six rounds, they allowed just two goals. Given that the homeside on the day kept six clean sheets in ten clashes, their defense may be labelled confident. Moreover, the Norway goalkeeper opened up: Rune Jarstein (Hertha Berlin) is the team’s unchallenged leader. Tellingly, he was awarded the best Norway player last year, though he is already thirty-four. The man’s performance in the Bundesliga is also great – he is the division’s second-best effective player. Rune is extremely good at saving one-on-ones and at goal line play.
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The visiting Sweden had a far more successful 2018. Mind Zlatan Ibrahimovic refused to compete for the national team yet before the start of the last qualification. When he offered his services to the сoaching staff before the 2018 FIFA World Cup, he was not invited to join yet. Despite the legend’s absence, the Swedes performed great in Russia: they competed with South Korea, Germany, and Mexico, and confidently progressed to playoffs. Then they overcame Switzerland (1:0) and were defeated by England in the quarter-final (0:2). In autumn, the side competed in the Nations League, where they clashed with Russia and Turkey in the second division. Sweden were about to end losers and relegate to the lower league, but they revived in the last two rounds and did not only keep their place in the second division but progressed to the first one, having got ahead of their rivals.
Finally we will see an official Scandinavian derby. The teams compete in a harsh group, so, they bear a major responsibility for each result. Any point-drop may hurt their table placement. Either opponent have been great defensewise, therefore, no abundance of goals should be expected.
Prediction for the match: Under 2.5 goals.