Scotland vs Norway recommended bets
Scotland vs Norway match preview
This has already been an ultra-successful qualification campaign for Scotland, while the exact opposite is true of their visitors.
2023 has featured so many highlights for loyal Tartan Army members, including the 2-0 victory over Spain in March, and the chaotic, comeback 2-1 victory in Oslo in June, scoring twice in under 100 seconds late on.
So, after winning five out of five, prior to last month’s 2-0 reverse in Seville, Scotland qualified for next summer’s European Championships with two games to spare, the first time they’ve ever achieved this.
On Thursday, Steve Clarke’s side traveled to Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena for, what turned out to be, a bad-tempered clash with Georgia.
Referee Aleksandar Stavrev brandished six yellow cards, and it could’ve been exponentially more.
That aside, the pair played out a very entertaining 2-2 draw in Tbilisi, with Scott McTominay bagging his seventh goal of this campaign, before Lawrence Shankland’s late header salvaged a point.
So now, the Dark Blues are determined to end a memorable campaign with a victory in Glasgow and every point is precious, as it could Scotland’s seeding in the final tournament draw, taking place on 2 December.
One team who will not be involved in that draw are Norway, who’s wait for a first major tournament since 2000 goes on.
The Lions came into this campaign with sky-high expectations, but have just ten points to their name, with last month’s 1-0 home defeat to Spain ensuring they cannot finish in the top two.
Meanwhile, Ståle Solbakken’s side will not be involved in March’s play-offs, the highest-ranked team (24th) not to be given a second opportunity to qualify via the UEFA Nations League repêchage.
So, despite boasting two of the very best attackers in world football, Norway have now failed to qualify for 12 successive tournaments, despite appearing at three of four immediately beforehand.
Scotland are winless in three home games against the Lions, dating back to 1978, Kenny Dalglish scoring twice that night, but a home win seems very likely at Hampden.
Scotland team news
Given that Kieran Tierney, Andy Robertson and Aaron Hickey are all injured, Steve Clarke switched to a back four in Tbilisi, deploying this system for the first time since September 2022′s heroic draw with Ukraine.
At times in Georgia, Scotland were chaotic defensively, so it’ll be interesting to see if Clarke brings in another centre-back, namely Liam Cooper or Jack Hendry, or sticks with the four.
First-choice goalkeeper Angus Gunn is also sidelined, with Zander Clark chosen as his deputy on Thursday, getting the nod over Liam Kelly, both of whom debuted in France last month.
Kenny McLean and Lewis Ferguson both came off the bench at half time on Thursday, so will either be in from the start this time?
21 year old Josh Doig will be hoping to make his international debut.
Predicted XI (4-3-3): Clark; Patterson, McKenna, Hendry, Taylor; Gilmour, McTominay, McGregor, McGinn, Christie; Dykes.
Norway team news
Captain Martin Ødegaard, who suffered a concussion in training with Arsenal, will not feature at Hampden.
Meanwhile, Norway’s other superstar Erling Braut Håland is also a doubt, having picked up an ankle injury during Thursday’s 2-0 friendly win over the Faroe Islands.
Without those two, as well as Alexander Sørloth, Ståle Solbakken’s side are average at best.
Håland’s club teammate Oscar Bobb scored his first-ever international goal in mid-week, while Kristoffer Ajer and Mohamed Elyounoussi, both formally of Celtic, will be familiar faces to the home fans.
First-choice goalkeeper Ørjan Nyland is another player out injured so, after making his debut three nights ago, Mathias Dyngeland will be donning the gloves.
Predicted XI (4-3-3): Dyngeland; Pedersen, Ajer, Skiri Østigård, Wolfe; Thorstvedt, Aursnes, Berge; Bobb, Strand Larsen, Elyounoussi.