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Preview: Norway vs. Slovakia – prediction, team news, lineups



Sports Mole previews Tuesday’s friendly clash between Norway and Slovakia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Slovakia‘s preparations for this summer’s European Championship will continue on Tuesday evening with an international friendly against Norway in Oslo.

The visitors will enter the contest off the back of a 2-0 loss to Austria on Saturday, while Norway were in action on Friday, suffering a 2-1 defeat to the Czech Republic.

Match preview

© Reuters

Norway failed to qualify for Euro 2024, finishing third in Group A behind Spain and Scotland, so their long wait to return to the finals of a major international tournament continues.

The national team have not qualified for any of the last six European Championships, last competing at Euro 2000, when they were eliminated in the group stage, while they have not featured at the finals of a World Cup since France 1998, which brought a spot in the round of 16.

Despite boasting two of the outstanding players in the Premier League in the shape of Martin Odegaard and Erling Haaland, Norway fell short in terms of qualification for Euro 2024, and they now have three friendlies in the diary against Slovakia, Kosovo and Denmark before opening their UEFA Nations League campaign.

Stale Solbakken‘s side will take on Austria, Kazakhstan and Slovenia in the 2024-25 UEFA Nations League, competing in Group 3 of League B.

Norway will enter this match off the back of a 2-1 defeat to Czech Republic in a friendly on Friday, but they have been victorious in five of their last seven non-competitive fixtures.

Slovakia's Stanislav Lobotka celebrates scoring their second goal with Milan Skriniar on October 13, 2023© Reuters

Slovakia, meanwhile, will be present at Euro 2024, with the national side finishing second in Group J behind Portugal, picking up 22 points from 10 matches during a strong campaign.

The Falcons did not qualify for the 2022 World Cup, but they have been present in the last two European Championships, reaching the round of 16 at Euro 2016 before going out in the group stage of Euro 2020.

Slovakia will open their Euro 2024 campaign with a clash against Belgium on June 17, before taking on either Ukraine or Iceland in their second match on June 21; their third match in Group E will then be against Romania on June 26.

Francesco Calzona‘s side have won each of their last three competitive matches, but they suffered a 2-0 defeat to Austria in an international friendly on Saturday night.

Slovakia have only faced Norway on four previous occasions, all of which have been friendlies, and they have lost three of those encounters, including a 2-0 defeat when the pair last locked horns in March 2022.

Norway friendly form:

Norway form (all competitions):

Slovakia friendly form:

Slovakia form (all competitions):

Team News

Norway's Martin Odegaard during the warm up on October 15, 2023© Reuters

Haaland and Odegaard both started against the Czech Republic, with the former playing 75 minutes of the contest, while the latter featured for 86 minutes.

Both could start again here, but it would not be a surprise to see them play for just 45 minutes, with head coach Solbakken expected to give chances to fringe players during this contest.

There will be changes to the side that started on Saturday, with Kristian Thorstvedt, Jorgen Strand Larsen and Mohamed Elyounoussi expected to be introduced into the XI on Tuesday night.

As for Slovakia, head coach Calzona will also make changes to the team that took to the first whistle against Austria on Saturday night.

Laszlo Benes, Patrik Hrosovsky, Robert Mak and David Duris are all in line for starts, but Robert Bozenik could keep his position through the middle for this match.

Peter Pekarik is in line to earn his 126th cap at right-back, but there is no Milan Skriniar for Slovakia, with the Paris Saint-Germain defender a notable absentee due to an ankle injury.

Norway possible starting lineup:
Nyland; Ajer, Hanche-Olsen, Ostigard, Bjorkan; Odegaard, Thorstvedt, Berge; Bobb, Haaland, Elyounoussi

Slovakia possible starting lineup:
Dubravka; Pekarik, Gyomber, Obert, Hanke; Kucka, Benes, Hrosovsky; Duris, Bozenik, Mak

SM words green background

We say: Norway 1-1 Slovakia

Both teams will enter this match off the back of disappointing results, so we are expecting the sides to be fired-up for this contest. It is always difficult to know exactly what to expect from friendlies at this stage of the year, but we can see the spoils being shared in a close match on Tuesday night.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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