Having reached last summer’s European Championships, Northern Ireland are hoping to appear in a World Cup finals for the first time in over 30 years. And victory over Norway is vital if Michael O’Neill’s men are to maintain that dream.
And at 11/8, we think the hosts are cracking value for three points at Winsdor Park.
But with Norn Iron having lost just twice in their last 15 games in Belfast, coupled with Norway’s woeful run, all signs point to a home win.
Only Croatia and Portugal have come away from Windsor Park with victory in the last three-and-a-half years, while the Norwegian’s only victory in their last six has come against San Marino.
And they’re travelling poorly too, having failed to win all of their last seven away games.
With the Czech Republic expecting three points against San Marino, and Azerbaijan set to struggle versus Germany, a Northern Ireland win would ensure themselves a two-point buffer in second place with five games played.
It may also be worth backing the hosts on the -1 handicap at an appealing 4/1. The Green and White Army have won four of their last seven home games by two goals or more.
And a 1-0 or 2-0 win could prove good value too. Norway may have scored five goals so far in qualifying, but four of those came versus San Marino.
They’ve failed to net away at Azerbaijan and Estonia in the last 12 months, so it wouldn’t be too surprising to see them come up short against an organised and resolute Northern Ireland.
And speaking of goals, Kyle Lafferty leads the betting for the first goalscorer at 9/2.
The big forward has already bagged three goals for the campaign, and has found the net in all of Northern Ireland’s last three home qualifiers.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing