24 March 2019
Spain host Norway to the Estadio de Mestalla in Valencia for the opening game of Group F of the European Championship qualifiers.
The hosts have had a strong start of the post-World Cup period under new boss Luis Enrique, securing three consecutive wins. In that period, the Red Fury have bagged 12 goals while conceding just two during the run. However, a sudden drop-off in form has seen them lose two successive UEFA Nations League clashes with England and Croatia that ultimately placed them second in Group A/4 behind the Three Lions. Nonetheless, the 2010 FIFA World Cup winners come into this meeting after beating Bosnia and Herzegovina in a friendly fixture as they look to kick off a new winning streak. Interestingly, two of three Spain’s home games after the final tournament have produced over 4.5 goals, with Enrique’s men scoring 2+ match goals on both occasions.
On the other hand, the visitors, who have failed to play their way to Russia, have enjoyed a prolific UEFA Nations League campaign, finishing top of Group C/3 with a record of four wins, a draw, and a defeat. Norway’s only failure in the competition has come on the road, as Bulgaria beat them by a narrow 1-0 scoreline. Interestingly, all six of Løvene’s UEFA Nations League games have produced under 2.5 goals, with three of them ending with the same 1-0 scoreline (two in their favor and one against). Lars Lagerbäck heavily relies on a strong rearguard that has stood firm in the past half year, allowing just two goals for the entire UNL campaign.
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