Although Cyprus has no chance in the UEFA qualifiers, there is great interest in seeing Erling Braut Haaland and Martin Odegaard. Tickets for the match at the AEK Arena were sold out, meaning the number of spectators was just over 8,000. Norway must win to maintain its chances of qualifying.
Ståle Solbakken said the starting lineup against Cyprus and Spain will not be very different, but there will be some changes. Given the short distance between matches (Thursday to Sunday) and the long distance between the cities in which they are played, it is natural that there will be some fresh legs on the back hand.
These are his choices against Cyprus:
Norway (4-5-1): Orjan Nyland – Julian Ryerson, Christopher Agger, Leo Østegaard, Berger Melling – Alexander Sorloth, Martin Odegaard, Sander Berge, Frederik Orsnes, Ola Solbakken – Erling Braut Haaland.
Praise from the boss
Sander Berge gets the chance to play the anchor role in the midfield usually occupied by Patrick Berge. The national team manager praised the Burnley player during his stay in Larnaca.
– Sander seems lighter in his body and in his step than he has for a long time and often plays 90 minutes, as Solbakken said during one of his press conferences and added that Berg can play in all midfield positions.
Kristoffer Agger replaces Stefan Strandberg at centre-back and becomes Leo Østegaard’s partner there. They played together from the start also against Jordaan in September, but then Agger moved in at right-back when Strandberg came on at half-time. Strandberg and Østigård have long been the national team manager’s favorite stopping duo.
Julian Ryerson returned to the right-back position that he and Marcus Holmgren Pedersen took turns filling, and which Ajer had borrowed during the previous session. Then Ryerson was sidelined by injury. With the ill Frederik Bjorkan missing from the team, there was no doubt that Berger Melling would play at left-back.
Bob on the bench
The bulk of the uncertainty was around the space on the left edge. Solbakken has made it clear that they will be very careful with Antonio Nosa, who was outstanding in this situation against Jordan and Georgia last month. Mohamed Elyounoussi, who was in the position permanently for Solbakken’s first two years as national team manager, was not selected for the last two meetings.
Oscar Pope would be an interesting option, but with short preparation, he’s likely to come up short. Instead, the place goes to Ola Solbakken, who also earned it for June’s matches against Scotland and Cyprus. He also scored the first goal against the latter.
Alexander Sorloth returned after missing the previous session due to injury, and became the 50th Norwegian player to complete 50 caps.
That’s what the difference is
1 Orjan Nyland – 14 Julian Ryerson, 3 Christopher Agger, 15 Leo Østegaard, 5 Berger Melling – 19 Alexander Sorloth, 10 Martin Odegaard (captain), 8 Sander Berge, 7 Frederik Orsnes, 11 Ola Solbakken – 9 Erling Braut Haaland.
Reserves: 12 Matthias Dingland, 13 Egil Selvik – 2 Stian Gregersen, 4 Stefan Strandberg, 6 Patrik Berg, 16 Hugo Vettelsen, 17 Oscar Pope, 18 Christian Thorstedt, 20 Antonio Nosa, 21 Bard Finney, 22 Marcus Holmgren Pedersen, 23 Jurgen Strand . Larsen. In the stands (extra players in the team): Oussama Sahraoui, Morten Thorsby.
1 Joel Mol – 16 Stelios Andreou, 2 Andreas Karo, 5 Aleksandar Gojic, 4 Hector Kyprianou, 7 Anderson Correa – 12 Charalambos Kyriakou (captain), 8 Ioannis Kousoulos, 5 Charalambos Charalambos – 20 Grigoris Kastanos, 11 Andronikos Kakouli.
Reserves: 13 Dimitris Demetriou, 22 Neophytos Mikhail – 3 Marios Antoniades, 9 Dimitris Hristofi, 10 Loizos Loizou, 14 Kostas Pelias, 15 Danilo Spoljaric, 17 Nikolaos Panagiotou, 18 Minas Antoniou, 19 Marios Elia, 21 Pavlos Correa, 23 Stavros Gavriel. .
Referee: Donatas Ramsas (Lithuania).
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