MX23RW : Saturday, July 31 03:46:42| >> :600:4652591:4652591:
Nov 15, 2020 at 7.45pm UK at Arena Naţională
RomaniaRomania
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NorwayNorway
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Preview: Romania vs. Norway - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Nations League clash between Romania and Norway, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Romania and Norway face off at the National Arena in Bucharest on Sunday with contrasting aims in their penultimate UEFA Nations League fixture.

The visitors are locked on points with Austria in the battle to earn promotion from League B Group 1, while Romania are battling with Northern Ireland to avoid relegation.


Match preview

Norway's Erling Haaland in action with Northern Ireland's Trevor Carson in the UEFA Nations League on October 14, 2020© Reuters

Norway may have missed out on a place in the rescheduled Euro 2020 finals, going down 2-1 to Serbia in last month's playoff semi-final, but they are looking good in their Nations League group.

Lars Lagerback's men bounced back from that extra-time disappointment against Serbia with back-to-back home wins over Romania and Northern Ireland.

Erling Braut Haaland scored a hat-trick in the 4-0 victory against Romania and a second-half own goal from Stuart Dallas proved the difference against the Irish.

Austria also won their two October fixtures, however, and are above Norway thanks to a superior goal difference.

With the two sides set to meet in the final round of fixtures next week, Lagerback will know that victory against Romania will likely set up a straight shootout for top spot.

Ianis Hagi in action for Romania against Malta during a Euro 2020 qualifier in June 2019© Reuters

Romania are no longer able to earn promotion to League A, meanwhile, as they followed up that aforementioned heavy loss in Oslo with a 1-0 defeat at home to Austria.

That made it three defeats in a row overall, having also lost 2-1 to Iceland in their Euro 2020 playoff semi-final tie.

Whereas Norway have had a few days on the training ground following the cancelation of their friendly with Israel, Romania were in action on Wednesday as they saw off Belarus 5-3.

That result will hardly repair the damage of last month, but Mirel Radoi's charges do at least have a platform to build on as they look ahead to the next campaign.

Romania Nations League form: DWLL
Romania form (all competitions): DWLLLW

Norway Nations League form: LWWW
Norway form (all competitions): WLWLWW


Team News

Norway pair Erling Braut Haaland and Alexander Sorloth celebrate against Northern Ireland on September 7, 2020© Reuters

The decision to cancel Norway's home friendly with Israel was taken hour before kickoff due to coronavirus fears, but Lagerback's squad is not believed to have been hit.

Haaland, undoubtedly Norway's star man with six goals in seven internationals, is expected to be partnered in attack by Joshua King.

As for the hosts, they named a stronger-than-expected XI for their friendly with Belarus, but some changes are still likely for this second of three games in a week.

Ionut Nedelcearu impressed and is in contention to start at the back, while Denis Alibec is favourite to lead the line.

Romania possible starting lineup:
Tatarusanu; Balasa, Nedelcearu, Tosca, Bancu; Maxim, Marin, Stanciu; Deac, Alibec, Mitrita

Norway possible starting lineup:
Hansen; Elabdellaoui, Strandberg, Ajer, Meling; Odegaard, Berge, Normann, Elyounoussi; King, Haaland


SM words green background

We say: Romania 0-1 Norway

Romania are without a win in four competitive home matches, while Norway are unbeaten in four on their travels, most recently thrashing Northern Ireland 5-1.

Lagerback's men have a lot more to play for than their opponents and we can see them coming away from Sunday's clash in Bucharest with all three points.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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Northern Ireland manager Ian Baraclough pictured on September 4, 2020
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Saturday's key events


TRIATHLON
· After silvers in both the men's and women's events, Team GB will be fancied to get on the podium again in the mixed relay (11.30pm-1am)

SWIMMING
· Touted as Michael Phelps's successor, Caeleb Dressel already has two gold medals from these Games and he will be going for a third in the men's 50m butterfly final (2.30am)
· It is Katie Ledecky vs. Ariarne Titmus III in the women's 800m freestyle final, with Ledecky entering as firm favourite (2.46am)
· Great Britain will be heavily fancied to add another gold medal to their swimming haul, having produced by far the fastest qualifying time for the mixed 4x100m medley relay final (3.43am)

ATHLETICS
· Dina Asher-Smith is one of three British women in the 100m semi-finals (3.01am-3.20am), and will hope to challenge for a medal in what is likely to be a star-studded final (1.50pm)
· The inaugural Olympic 4x400m mixed relay event concludes with Great Britain one of the eight finalists going for gold (1.35pm)

RUGBY SEVENS
· Team GB's dreams of an unlikely gold are still alive in the women's event as they face France in their semi-final (3.30am). The winners will face either New Zealand or Fiji in the gold medal match later in the day (10am)

SAILING
· Gold medals are up for grabs in the windsurfer - RS:X finals. Emma Wilson participates for Team GB in the women's final (6.33am), while Tom Squires is in action in the men's (7.33am)

TENNIS
· Following his shock semi-final defeat, ending his hopes of a Golden Slam in 2021, Novak Djokovic battles for bronze against Pablo Carreno Busta (7am)
· The women's singles event reaches its conclusion with the gold medal match between Belinda Bencic and Marketa Vondrousova

> Today's schedule in full
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League of Ireland Premier
Belarusian Premier League
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Major League Soccer
Brasileiro
Copa Diego Maradona
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