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Five things we know about Norway ahead of Monday's Nations League clash at Windsor Park

 

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Norway goalkeeper Orjan Nyland

Norway goalkeeper Orjan Nyland

Getty Images

Norway goalkeeper Orjan Nyland

Northern Ireland will hope to pick up their first win in this season's Nations League campaign when they welcome Norway to Windsor Park on Monday night.

Here's five things we know about Lars Lagerback's outfit...

Haaland of hope and glory

No pressure on the Borussia Dortmund striker but there's a lot riding on him to succeed given his prolific record in the club game both in the Bundesliga and Champions League.

Arguably the most high-profile Norwegian forward since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and still only 20, he will be a handful for Northern Ireland, with Craig Cathcart and Jonny Evans likely to be on red alert.

That said, he hasn't faced Bailey Peacock-Farrell yet.

Villain of the piece

Potentially starting in goal for the visitors will be Aston Villa stopper Orjan Nyland, who has already had one run-in with a Northern Ireland star since lockdown - one he will want to forget.

The goalkeeper famously spilled a free-kick from Oliver Norwood over the line in Villa's first game back which VAR failed to spot, denying Sheffield United a victory after the game ended 0-0.

Snapping a streak

While Friday's loss to Austria was somewhat expected, it was Norway's first in 10 games after winning four and drawing five prior to the 2-1 reverse in Oslo.

The streak wasn't as impressive as it sounds, however. While draws against Spain and two each against Sweden and Romania are respectable, their four wins came against minnows Malta and the Faroe Islands twice each.

We're not Brazil

Norway hold one incredible international stat that only one other side in the world can boast - they have never lost to the mighty Brazil.

The Scandinavians have played the Samba stars on four occasions, drawing their first meeting in 1988, winning a friendly in 1997, beating them again in the group stages of the 1998 World Cup and then drawing another friendly in 2006.

The only other nation who can say the same? Senegal.

All I do is win

Norway's record against Northern Ireland is good, winning seven of their nine meetings. But, surprisingly, despite playing each other nine times, the two sides have never drawn.

The two sides traded victories in 2017 during qualifying for the World Cup, but prior to that Norway had won the previous five encounters, all at Windsor.

They weren't close either, the aggregate score finishing 16-3.

Belfast Telegraph