FIFA World Cup 2019 Qualifier Preview: Norway -v- Republic of Ireland

Tue, Jun 12 2018

Norway goalscorer Lisa-Marie Utland is tackled by Ireland's Denise O'Sullivan during Friday's 2-0 win. Credit: Peter Fitzpatrick

NORWAY

Norway welcome the Republic of Ireland to the Viking Stadium in Stavanger knowing a win will guarantee a top two finish in Group 3 (kick-off 5pm Irish time).

A goal in either half from Lisa-Marie Utland saw the Norwegians to a comfortable 2-0 win over tonight's opponents at Tallaght Stadium on Friday.

And even a draw tonight would be far from a disaster for Martin Sjogren's side, who still have a game in hand on third-placed Ireland.

For Chelsea defender Maria Thorisdottir, the match will have added relevance as it takes place in her hometown of Stavanger

“I have never played international at home, so I'm looking forward to it,” Thorisdottir told the association's official website.

"It will be a tough fight against Ireland, but I'm looking forward to the fight.

“It's just [about[ driving on and hoping we will have another three points after this game has been played, hopefully with the help of the crowd.”

Norway have not reported any injury concerns ahead of the game.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

The Republic of Ireland are in last-chance saloon after Friday's 2-0 defeat to Norway left them needing a win in Stavanger tonight.

Even if Ireland do manage to achieve one of their biggest results of recent vintage, they would still require Norway to drop points in their game in hand against the Netherlands.

“If we lose again, then it's done,” manage Colin Bell told reporters after the first leg.

“A draw would be definitely a success. We're playing against top teams. There's no doubt about that. You can see the difference.

“They're individually stronger, better, but they're the things we're aiming for. We're disappointed because we lost, disappointed because we conceded such poor goals.”

He added: "It's a simple equation for us now and in many ways, that can make the picture a lot clearer for the players.

"We've been able to pick out so much from that game which we can learn from. There were a lot of uncharacteristic mistakes in the game and the players have been able to see that.

"We've got to take what we've learnt into tomorrow night's game and try our best to get the result we need."

Bell will be without the injured Harriet Scott for the game, while centre-half Diane Caldwell is suspended, but Louise Quinn is fit to play after breaking her nose on Friday.

 

Referee: Esther Staubli (Switzerland).

 

BETTING

Norway 1/9; Draw 5/1; Republic of Ireland 11/1.

PREDICTION

Norway 3 – 1 Republic of Ireland

 

Norway

Injured: None.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: None.

Republic of Ireland

Injured: Harriet Scott (knee).

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: Diane Caldwell.