Kick Off: 1945, 26/03/2017
Stadium: Windsor Park
TV: Sky Sports 2
Northern Ireland have lost their last five encounters with Norway but they have the momentum to reverse that trend in Sunday’s World Cup qualifier.
Michael O’Neill’s side go into this game in second place behind runaway Group C leaders Germany, four points clear of this weekend’s opponents, who are down in fifth.
The odds for Northern Ireland to beat Norway are 6/5 and that looks a fair price on current form.
A Look At Northern Ireland’s Betting Odds
Northern Ireland did not look out of place at Euro 2016, reaching the knockout stages by splitting 1-0 losses to Poland and Germany with a 2-0 victory over Ukraine and then again only going down by a single goal when meeting Wales in the last 16.
The confidence gained from competing on that stage has helped them hit the ground running on the road to Russia 2018, with O’Neill’s side grinding out a goalless draw in the Czech Republic and recording convincing 4-0 wins over San Marino and Azerbaijan in Belfast.
A 2-0 defeat in Germany did little to dent Ireland’s belief that they can make it to a first World Cup tournament since 1986 and O’Neill has his side playing with plenty of energy and tempo.
Northern Ireland were on top of San Marino and Azerbaijan from the outset and they appeal at 13/5 to be leading at half-time and full-time again here.
A Look At Norway’s Betting Odds
While Northern Ireland are flying high at 35 in the FIFA rankings, Norway have slipped down from 10th spot in 2010 to be languishing in 81st place following a period of steady decline.
They do have some familiar faces, with in-form Bournemouth striker Josh King joined in the squad by Hull duo Adama Diomande and Omar Elabdellaoui, West Ham defender Havard Nordveit and Fulham midfielder Stefan Johansen, so head coach Lars Lagerback does have some talent to work with.
However, Norway just seem to have got into a nasty habit of coming up short in tight encounters, especially on the road, losing 1-0 in Azerbaijan and 2-1 in the Czech Republic.
Northern Ireland can be backed at 13/5 to prevail by a one-goal margin.
Last World Cup qualifier result:
NORTHERN IRELAND 4-0 Azerbaijan – Kyle Lafferty, Gareth McAuley, Connor McLaughlin, Chris Brunt
Czech Republic 2-1 NORWAY – Josh King
Head-to-head: Northern Ireland 0-3 Norway, Northern Ireland 1-4 Norway, Northern Ireland 0-4 Norway, Northern Ireland 0-2 Norway, Northern Ireland 2-3 Norway