Group G is shaping up to be one of the most competitive groups in the European qualifiers, with four teams feasibly in the hunt for a World Cup spot.
Turkey lead the way with two wins from three unbeaten games, while Netherlands, Montenegro and Norway sit just a point behind.
This game marks another chapter in Netherlands international football, with Louis van Gaal taking over from Frank de Boer for his third stint in charge of the national side.
Only Marco van Basten (2.23) and Bert van Marwijk (2.15) have a better points per game ratio than van Gaal (2.14) for the national side since 1973 (at least 15 games in charge), and with his extensive career this certainly isn’t a blind appointment, and you know exactly what you’re getting with the Dutchman.
Despite de Boer’s shortcomings, the quality of this Netherlands squad shouldn’t be understated.
There’s a strong balance of experience and exuberance, with star quality dotted around every position, while Norway don’t quite boast that strength in depth, even though they do have the biggest star on the pitch.
Erling Haaland wasn’t even born when Norway last competed in a major tournament, with their exit from Euro 2000 coming just weeks before Haaland’s birth, and now he carries a nation’s hopes opn his shoulders as the Norwegians look to sneak into a playoff spot if they can’t top the group.
Haaland’s record for Dortmund speaks for itself, with 63 goals in 64 games, though it’s just one in six now for his country and he’ll need to up that ratio drastically if his side wants to take this game.
Netherlands To Win
Wins over Gibraltar and Montenegro are nothing to shout about, while a defeat to group leaders Turkey has damaged their chances massively.
In fact, of their last 25 victories going back to 2015, only one has come against a side currently ranked higher than them (Australia, 2018) and none against a side even in the top 30 in the world.
Despite being on home soil, we can’t see three points staying in Norway on this occasion.
Haaland provides arguably the most serious goal threat in world football at the moment, but the likes of van Dijk and de Ligt are more than capable of matching him, and Netherlands should have too much quality not to start this new managerial era with maximum points.
NETHERLANDS TO WIN