Solbakken about the stars of the national team: – It’s naive to believe

Solbakken about the stars of the national team: – It’s naive to believe

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Norway’s men’s national team meets in Marbella ahead of the European Championship qualifiers against Spain on Saturday and Georgia three days later.

On the first day of the meeting, national team manager Ståle Solbakken was asked how he would use the two biggest players in the team in important matches: Erling Braut Haaland and Martin Ødegaard.

– If we look like a team and play against our best, it will be easier for them to be the spice and extra. Then they know they don’t play for Arsenal and City. It would be naive to think we would dominate the match against Spain, and Martin gets the ball as many times in the position he gets at Arsenal and Erling, says Solbakken.

Where: Alexander Sorloth, Erling Braut Haaland and Martin Odegaard follow the training from the sidelines. Photo: Fredrik Varfjell/NTB

The Manchester City striker is coming into the game at his best, scoring eight goals in his last two matches.

Ødegaard has been a solid piece in both league-leading defense and offense this season.

READY FOR SPAIN: Erling Braut Haaland and Martin Odegaard meet the Spanish national team on Sunday.  Photo: Vegard Grott/Bildebyrån

READY FOR SPAIN: Erling Braut Haaland and Martin Odegaard meet the Spanish national team on Sunday. Photo: Vegard Grott/Bildebyrån

It is clear that the head coach has done well for the clubs as well as for the national team.

Martin has been behind the most scoring chances in recent qualifiers and the Nations League and it has been Erling who has scored the most goals, against strong nations like Sweden, Slovenia and Serbia twice. We’ve got it done then, Solbakken says.

We can’t complain about anything Haaland has done in the national team. Maybe he scored nine or ten goals in eight games. He was also good and scored a goal in the match against Slovenia where we weren’t very good.

For the next two games, it’s about bringing out as many star players in the national team as they did in the club team.

– The opponent is often familiar with the rooms Martin enters, but he has managed them well in the National League. Erling often has more possession with us than with the club side, Solbakken says, but he has to be lethally effective, as he can’t count on getting many chances against Spain.

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Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

"Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner."

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