Tobias Gourlay has found reasons to believe Sweden can survive a trip to old rivals Norway tonight
"Norway are slight favourites, but they are not prolific scorers at home"
Back the draw @ 3.1511/5 in Norway v Sweden
Norway v Sweden
Serbia stood tall for us in Lisbon last night. Dusan Tadic dispatched an early penalty for the visitors, the hosts equalised just before half-time and, happily for us, that was the end of the scoring.
We're sticking with the Euro 2020 qualifiers today. We've crossed the continent for this evening's Group F derby match between Norway and Sweden. The Scandinavian rivals last clashed in a competitive match more than 40 years ago, when Norway won a World Cup 1978 qualifier 2-1 in Oslo. Though tonight's match will be played in the same city, we're not convinced the previous result is still relevant.
Back in the present, Norway's Group F campaign began with a 2-1 defeat at group favourites Spain. In last autumn's Uefa Nations League, Lars Lagerback's men finished top of a fairly weak group, going W4-D1-L1 home and away against Bulgaria, Cyprus and Slovenia. As hosts, they won 3/3 without conceding a goal. All six matches finished with Under 2.5 Goals in total.
Sweden's first Euro 2020 qualifier brought a 2-1 home win over Romania. Janne Andersson's men played in a higher tier of the Nations League than Norway, winning a three-team group containing Turkey and Russia (W2-D1-L1). On the road, they held Russia to a goalless draw, then won 1-0 in Turkey. Under 2.5 Goals is a strong favourite at 1.608/13 and that looks about right. Under 1.5 Goals is tempting at 2.8415/8 but our pick is the draw at 3.1511/5.
Norway are slight favourites, but they are not prolific scorers at home. Sweden are hardly prolific on the road, but they showed in Russia and Turkey that they can avoid defeat in hostile environments. Low-scoring games are more likely to be drawn and, with both local pride and that coveted second position in the group behind Spain on the line, we expect tonight's encounter to be tight and hard fought.