Northern Ireland lost just three of their last 11 matches.Northern Ireland scored exactly one goal in three of their last five games.Norway hit the net exactly once in four of their last six assignments.Northern Ireland make solid start
With Ian Baraclough in the dugout, Northern Ireland have a new face in charge, though the Green and White Army showed the same old grit and fighting spirit on Friday in their Nations League opener in Romania.
There were only four minutes left on the clock when the 10-man Northern Irish outfit snatched a late equalizer in Bucharest through Gavin Whyte, and the Cardiff City midfielder’s effort allowed Baraclough to start his tenure with a useful point.
Back at Windsor Park on Monday, Northern Ireland will hope to wrangle another positive result out of a tough looking tie at home to Norway, and the evidence suggests the hosts can avoid defeat again.
Norway’s disappointing showing
With Erling Haaland and Josh King paired up front, expectations were high ahead of Norway’s Nations League opener at home to Austria however, and while the first of those aforementioned strikers made a mark, it was ultimately a disappointing evening in Oslo.
Norway were eventually beaten 2-1 by a more impressive Austria team, who racked up 17 attempts on goal to their host’s meagre three, while the visitors enjoyed almost 60% of the possession at the Ullevaal Stadion.
It’s worth noting that their setback against the Austrians ended a nine match unbeaten run for Lars Lagerbäck’s side however, and Norway will be aiming to bounce back quickly on Monday.
Northern Ireland to avoid defeat
After their spirited showing on Friday, Northern Ireland’s recent record now reads just three defeats in 11 games, with strong Germany (twice) and Netherlands teams the only sides to topple NI during a period littered with solid performances.
Northern Ireland’s reputation for being an extremely tough team to beat is well established, and they look worth backing in the double chance market on Monday with that in mind.
Norway, who scored exactly one goal in four of their last six assignments, seem to lack the cutting edge required to create much against a robust Northern Ireland rearguard, who should have experienced campaigner Jonny Evans back for Monday’s contest.
A single strike looks about the upper limit of Norway’s capabilities in Belfast this week, while a Northern Ireland frontline that mustered exactly one goal in three of their last five, also lack the sparkle to shine. Combining those factors makes a 1-1 draw a solid correct score prediction.