ISTANBUL / OSLO (VG) (Turkey 1-1 Norway) If Norway does the homework against Montenegro and Latvia, a clean group final against the Netherlands in Rotterdam probably awaits them.
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In that case, it will be decided whether Norway goes directly to the World Cup in Qatar towards the end of 2022 or, in the worst case, misses the opportunity entirely. The group winner gets a direct ticket to Doha, the group runner must go through a demanding replay to get a place in the World Cup.
But if Norway loses to the Netherlands and Turkey wins their remaining matches (against Latvia, Montenegro and Gibraltar), Norway will be number three and thus be out of the battle for the World Cup, provided that the Netherlands also win their matches. against Gibraltar and Montenegro.
– Definitely the opportunity is present, here are good opportunities. You see that the team works despite all the deadlines. They are players in good shape and with confidence, they stand out. Holland has not impressed, Norway against Holland will always be an outsider … beating “neantefra” will always be nice, former national team player and current Vsport expert Rune Bratseth tells VG about Norway’s chances of winning the group. Bratseth was present when Norway went 0-0 in the 1993 World Cup qualifier in Rotterdam, after a dozen great Dutch chances.
Twelve teams – three places
In March next year, 12 teams will make up the aforementioned playoff pot: the ten group runners-up from the European qualifiers, plus the Innovation UEFA Nations League, which was played in the fall of last year, will cross their path to the Cup. of the world. playoffs.
Norway got no this extra ticket to the playoffs and therefore must be number two to get to this playoff. Championship-winning nations like Switzerland, Sweden, Russia, and the Czech Republic, among others, are probably waiting here.
Of these Twelve teams there is only room for Three I VM.
Ståle Solbakken was very pleased with his team’s performance against Turkey, but it illustrates how open the group is.
– It’s quite difficult. If we win the last three games, it’s pretty good, but we can also be number three as it is now, says Solbakken on the way forward.
– Hope, of course, is still alive, it is quite simple, we have to win the rest of the games to get first place, says provisional striker – and Norwegian scorer – Kristian Thorstvedt.
For his part, former national team winger Morten Gamst Pedersen believes that reaching the Netherlands and a group final in itself is not natural.
– Not only are you going to score points against Montenegro, and if you show the same attitude (as against Turkey) in that match, it may be the group final you dream of. It is wide open, and Norway may be even stronger when they regain more ropes to play, he says “Gamsten” and refers to the absences of Erling Braut Haaland and the rest of the “injured eleven” who did not play against Turkey.