Norway’s hopes of reaching their first major football tournament since Euro 2000 could take a huge leap forward if they are able to complete the double over Portugal on Saturday.
At the halfway point in UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying, Norway top Group H, three points above Portugal.
Egil Olsen’s side have dropped only two points in their opening four games, which included a 1-0 victory over Portugal in September.
However, at the Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica this weekend they will meet a side growing in confidence under new coach Paulo Bento.
After taking over following the loss to Norway, Bento guided his charges to wins over Denmark and Iceland, before they then disposed of world champions Spain 4-0 in a friendly.
Norway’s own perfect start ended with a 1-1 home draw with Denmark.
As such, Portugal have the opportunity to wipe out Norway’s advantage at the top of Group H when the sides meet in Lisbon.
Punters will find that the home team have been installed as heavy favourites to win the match, with bwin.com offering betting odds of 3/10 on a Portuguese victory.
Football betting fans wanting to back the underdog have the opportunity to collect rich returns if their wagers are successful. Norway are priced at 8/1 to win the game, while the draw offers odds of 4/1.
The previous meeting between the two sides is Portugal’s only defeat in the group and was the first time that Norway have beaten their European neighbours in nine attempts.
Punters who believe the game will end with the same result can get odds of 9/1 on a 1-0 away win – a £10 bet returning £100.
bwin.com also has a range of goal bet markets available for individuals looking for Euro 2012 odds. Those confident of predicting the exact number of goals could try their luck on the 17/4 odds offered on one goal being scored.
Anyone expecting a more high-scoring affair could be tempted by the 14/5 offered for two goals and the 31/10 odds on the game seeing three goals.
These markets could become more popular if punters take into account the two side’s tournament statistics so far. Portugal have scored ten goals from four attempts, compared to six from Norway.
However, while they have scored the most in the group, Portugal have also conceded seven, more than double the three let in by group leaders Norway.
There is also the opportunity to place a wager on the game’s first goalscorer. La Liga top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo offers odds of 2/1 to get the game up and running, while Manchester United winger Nani is priced at 5/1.
Alternatively, punters can back Erik Huseklepp to repeat his first leg heroics and score the game’s first goal at 14/1.
A winning £10 bet on such an outcome returns £150. New customers can register here to receive a £25 free bet.