When both teams were drawn together in the UEFA European Championships qualifying process, many assumed this would be a challenge for Spain. Norway are a team with an increasingly glittering range of players at the highest level, with a spine including the likes of Kristoffer Ajer, Sander Berge, and, of course, Erling Haaland. A combination of solid role talent plying their trade at good levels, too, makes Norway an absolute threat to anyone.
Spain, though, appear to have lucked out: Haaland has been sent home with an injury and will thus miss this match-up. With two qualification spots in the group to be had, Spain know that they can make a bit of space for themselves if they can come out flying at home. With points at a premium and a sprint to the end of qualification coming in the next calendar year, expect Spain to see this as a priority to win.
The challenge for Spain is they are under new management. Luis Enrique crashed out of the last sixteen of the FIFA World Cup, losing to Morocco on penalties. This cost Luis Enrique his job, and he was replaced by Luis de la Fuente. A national team stalwart, de la Fuente takes the reigns and will look to use the generation of younger talent he has been bringing through at youth level.
A former coach at U19, U21, and U23 level, de la Fuente has exceptional experience of the national team. Spain come into this game with a lot of confidence despite their poor World Cup showing, and will feel confident of handling a Norway team who has been left without their most important player.
With a trip to Scotland next up for Spain, they will want to do the business here so they can leave Norway and Scotland to fight it out for the other qualification spot.
The loss of Haaland is a killer for Norway’s major hopes of getting three points in Spain. Without their talismanic forward, they are left hoping for a result as opposed to expecting one. Stale Solbakken, though, has the benefit of being in the job for a while and being able to point to several settled squad positions. With so much promise, though, comes pressure to end the 23-year wait for a tournament appearance.
Norway is a good football nation, but they have spent much of the last two decades in transition. This game will not decide their qualification campaign, but it will definitely play a role in determining how likely they are to compete for 1st as opposed to battle it out for 2nd with Scotland.
Verdict Spain vs Norway prediction
With Haaland, Spain’s new start under de la Fuente could become complicated. They are in the middle of a transition, albeit a hugely talented one, and the presence of the most in-form forward in the world would be terrifying. Without him, though, Norway are more reliant on set pieces and energy. This should not be enough to topple La Roja, who come into this game in fine form and high spirits amid the excitement of a new start.
Score Spain vs Norway Prediction: Over 2.5 goals @ 1.85 Bet with crypto currency @ 1xbit casino