Nations League: Norway vs N Ireland

Northern Ireland will look to quickly recover from defeat as they face Norway in the UEFA Nations League clash at Ullevaal Stadion in Oslo on Wednesday. Ian Baraclough's side lost 1-0 at home to Austria on Sunday and are now bottom of group B1, while Norway is second after beating Romania 4-0 on the same day.

Stefan Johansen beat Serbia and missed the win over Romania, while reserve goalkeeper Orjan Nyland is also bearing an injury. After coming on as a substitute in the second half in the most recent match, Joshua King will push the call up here, possibly replacing Mohamed Elyounoussi's rock-bottom position. Norway is very competitive for promotion, then having a comfortable win in their home meeting with Romania. Erling Braut Haaland was the star of the match with another hat-trick - albeit his first at international level - while Alexander Sorloth also contributed 1 goal in one-way match. However, unlike Northern Ireland, Norway did not get a chance to reach the Euro final next summer after losing to Serbia in the playoff semi-final last week. The UEFA Nations League is currently the sole focus of the Lions and they will be eager to win three straight wins in the midweek tournament. Norway entered this match with an impressive streak that has seen them enter the net at least once in their last 18 games since September 2018. That includes 5 goals as they meet North Ireland last month, with Lars Lagerback's side taking a 5-1 win in Belfast.

Baraclough has not reported an injury or suspension, though he may want to revolve for this third match in less than a week. Names like Gavin Whyte, Jordan Jones and Kyle Lafferty were brought in against Austria, but all three of them could go to Oslo. Conor Washington, who has four goals in 23 international appearances, is expected to take the lead. Northern Ireland manager Baraclough accepted that his side were 'scared' of Austria in Sunday's defeat at Windsor, where 600 supporters were allowed to watch the match. Michael Gregoritsch scored the only goal before the first half ended, Baraclough knew they needed to have more if they wanted to avoid relegation in League C, starting with an improved performance in Oslo. The defeat of Austria comes just days after their penalty shootout win over Bosnia-Herzegovina, setting the Euro 2020 playoff final against Slovakia next month. It was a really big game for Northern Ireland, although they are ranked at the bottom of Group B1, 3 points ahead of 3rd place Romania and 2 points behind Norway and Austria.

Powered by Blogger.