Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Nations League clash between Norway and Sweden, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.
Scandinavian neighbors Norway and Sweden will play at the Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo for their fourth game in League B Group 4 UEFA Nations League On Sunday evening.
The Blue and Yellows will seek revenge on the Lions after losing 2-1 in the second leg on home soil last week.
Norway failed to maintain their 100 percent start to Group 4 in League B after being held to a goalless home draw by Slovenia on Thursday.
Miha Blažic was shown a red card for a late tackle just after the hour Erling Bride Haalandbut the Lions could not take advantage of the extra man and were eventually forced to share the spoils.
Nevertheless, Stale Solbakken will have been pleased with his side’s start to the Nations League as they have accumulated seven points from their first three games and are a point clear of Serbia at the summit.
Norway, who have lost just one of their last 12 internationals, will go into Sunday’s game with confidence after beating Sweden earlier this month. After four straight draws against the Blue and Yellows, a brace from Haaland helped take all three points for the Löwen, who only had 34% possession in Stockholm.
Another win for Norway would put them in a strong position to secure promotion to League A, which would be their second promotion in three campaigns since the competition began in 2018.
After beating Slovenia 2-0 in the Nations League opening game, Sweden have since suffered back-to-back defeats by Norway and Serbia.
The Blue and Yellows were condemned to a narrow 1-0 defeat by the latter on Thursday after the Real Madrid striker scored in the third minute of first-half added time Lukas Jovic enough for Serbia to take all three points away.
Janne AnderssonRelegated from League A of the Nations League last season, the side are still fighting for promotion but are currently four points behind leaders Norway and Sunday’s clash with their regional rivals could decide their fate.
Sweden have failed to win any of their last five meetings with Norway, with the most recent win dating back to August 2013 when they won 4-2 at home in a friendly.
The Blue and Yellows travel to Oslo after winning just one of their last six away games – the aforementioned 2-0 win over Slovenia earlier this month – so they need to be in top form if they are to claim maximum points on Sunday and keep their hopes of advancement alive.
Form of the Norway Nations League:
Norway form (all competitions):
Form of the Swedish Nations League:
Swedish form (all competitions):
Norway boss Solbakken could decide to make a few changes to freshen up his side considering how fast things are going between games.
Both Haaland and Mohammed Elyounoussi are willing to keep their places in attack, however Alexander Sorloth could come in Joshua kingwhile Morten Thorsby can replace Fredrik Aursnesto join Martin Odegaard and Sander mountains in the midfield.
A back four of Markus Pedersen, Andreas Hänche-Olsen, Leo Ostigard and Birger Meling should remain intact on Sunday and shield the goalkeeper Orian Nyland.
Sweden will do without a midfield duo Matthias Schwanberg and Kristoffer Olsson due to suspension while centre-back Joakim Nilson is questionable after being substituted off with an injury in the first half against Serbia.
With people like Victor Lindelf and Karl Sternfelt are no longer in the squad due to injury, head coach Andersson may have to be called in Hjalmar Ekdal and Sotirios Papagiannopoulos – who have won just five caps together – to start as a centre-back.
On a more positive note, Sweden have welcomed back the Tottenham Hotspur winger Dejan Kulusevski of the suspension and is expected to replace one of them Victor Klaesson or Anthony Elanga.
Emil Kraft is also available after serving a one-game suspension last time out and could replace Joel Andersson right behind.
Norway possible starting line-up:
Newland; Pederson, Hanche-Olsen, Ostigard, Meling; Thorsby, Berge, Odegaard; Sorloth, Haaland, Elyounoussi
Sweden possible starting line-up:
Olsen; Krafth, Ekdal, Papagiannopoulos, Augustinsson; Forsberg, Cajuste, Svanberg; Kulusevski, Isak, Elanga
We say: Norway 3:1 Sweden
While Sweden have talented attacking options that could cause problems for Norway in the final third, we believe Haaland and company will find plenty of joy against the visitors’ weakened defence.
Andersson’s men can’t really afford to lose on Sunday if they are to keep promotion hopes alive, but given the form and firepower Norway possess, a home win could be a possibility.
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Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com predict under 3.5 goals in this game. Click here to find out what else they predict for this game and for more of their football best tips.Under 3.5:Data