Norway vs Australia
Date: Friday, 23 March 2018
Kick-Off at 17:00 UK
Venue: Ullevaal Stadion (Oslo).
Bert van Marwijk will make his debut on Australia’s bench on Thursday when Socceroos travel to Scandinavia to take on Norway. The hosts were nowhere near challenging the second place in their WC Qualification group finishing behind the likes of Northern Ireland and Czech Republic.
Even though Lars Lagerback’s men did show some improvements in October’s final qualifying window (back-to-back clean sheet wins over San Marino and Northern Ireland), the old wounds popped up a month later when Norway could not find the back of the net in consecuti9ve defeats to FYR Macedonia and Slovakia.
This generation of Norwegian players does not have the quality to compete at the biggest stage. The main star is Bournemouth’s Joshua King (five goals in the qualifying campaign), but he has missed most of the season in the Premier League due to injury.
Australia have, however, relied too much on their legend Tim Cahill who has once again led the team towards securing the place at the World Cup in Russia. The veteran has notched 11 goals in the qualifying process, including the crucial brace in Asian playoffs against Syria (3-2 on aggregate for Socceroos after extra-time). Aston Villa’s Mile Jedinak was, however, the man who has earned Australia the 3-1 victory over Honduras in the intercontinental playoffs netting a hat-trick in November last year.
Norway vs Australia: Head-to-head
This will only be the second head to head clash between Norway and Australia.
There was no winner when the two sides met in a friendly played 14 years ago (2-2) at Craven Cottage (London).
Norway vs Australia: Prediction
The bookies see Norway as the 2-15 favourites to grab the victory in front of their fans, but it’s really hard to notice any value there given their attacking woes.
We’ll thus take Australia not to lose at the odds of 1.72 as the main pick, while the alternative option is draw at the half time at 2.00.
Norway vs Australia: Bet Tips
Odds are correct at the time of compiling this article. Please gamble responsibly (18+).