Football Alive

Socceroos vs Norway Preview

Bert’s reign begins tonight! Football Alive provides a thorough preview of the Socceroo’s friendly with Norway, our first hit-out since qualifying for the world cup!

Where: Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo, Norway

When: Kick-Off 6:00pm local, 4:00am AEDT (Saturday Morning)

TV: Live from 3:30am AEDT on Channel 10 and Fox Sports 503

Odds: Norway $2.20, Draw $3.20, Australia $3.30 (Sportsbet)

Weather: A freezing Nordic night, with 2° and snow showers expected at KO

AUSTRALIA

Squad

Form (from most to least recent)

W 3-1 v Honduras (H), 15/11/17

D 0-0 v Honduras (A), 10/11/17

W 2-1 v Syria (H) (AET), 10/10/17

D 1-1 v Syria (Malaysia), 5/10/17

W 2-1 Thailand (H), 5/9/17

NORWAY

Squad

Form (from most to least recent)

L 0-1 v Slovakia (A), 14/11/17

L 0-2 v FYR Macedonia (A), 11/11/17

W 1-0 v Northern Ireland (H), 8/10/17

W 8-0 v San Marino (A), 5/10/17

L 0-6 v Germany (A), 4/9/17

Prediction

Norway will provide a good test for the Socceroos, but it is one that Australia must pass if we are to conquer the technically superior European teams of France and Denmark. It’ll be the Socceroos’ first outing in Bert’s 4-2-3-1 formation, raising several key questions. Will the fullbacks push as high up the pitch as Ange’s wingbacks did? Will Milligan be retained alongside Jedinak in midfield or will Bert opt for younger legs? Will the Socceroos adopt a more conservative approach to their play or press the Norwegians highly? Will Alexander Susnjar be trusted in the centre of defence, and could he claim a spot in the starting XI alongside Sainsbury for Russia? Will Milos Degenek be deployed in the centre of defence or will he be preferred to Josh Risdon at right-back? Will Andrew Nabbout or Dimitri Petratos start or will Bert rely on Roos regulars? The answers to these questions will only come at kickoff, but they will give us a good indication of how the Socceroos will set up in Russia. Expect a familiar Socceroos line-up to those that faced Honduras and Syria, with Bert to tinker more both in the second half and in the second friendly against Colombia. Juric will likely start up front, with a point to prove given Australia’s lack of goals from open-play. All eyes will be on Robbie Kruse and Mat Leckie too as they are moved back to the wing, from the more unnatural position of wing-back – any slip-ups could open the door for Bert to experiment in the wide positions against Colombia. Mile Jedinak’s performance will be crucial too, as he seeks to both motivate his men under new leadership, and as Bert experiments to find him the ideal midfield partner for Russia. Looking at Norway, the focus will be on their youth. Specifically, wonder-kid Martin Ødegaard, who is on the books at Real Madrid and currently plays for SC Heerenveen in the Eredivisie, and centre-half Kristoffer Ajer, who is yet to represent his country but is having a wonderful season with Celtic, making 16 league appearances. The squad is lacking firepower up front though, with Premier League strikers Joshua King and Alexander Sørloth both withdrawing from the squad.

Australia 2-0 Norway

 

Highlights of Previous Matches

Australia 3-1 Honduras

Slovakia 1-0 Norway

Highlights of Previous Meetings

Australia 2-2 Norway, 2004

Australia 1-0 Norway, 1997

 

 

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