Read our betting preview and free picks for the crucial 2022 World Cup qualifier between Netherlands and Norway, which is set to take place at De Kuip in Rotterdam on Tuesday, November 16.
Norway and Netherlands played out a 1-1 draw at the Ullevaal Stadion in Oslo in the first leg. Norway's Erling Haaland opened the scoring 20 minutes into the first half, while Dutch midfielder Davy Klaassen restored parity 16 minutes later.
Thus, Norway ended their four-game losing streak against the Netherlands, failing to score in each of these matches, also including two defeats in the 2010 World Cup qualifying. Now, if they are to leapfrog Oranje, The Lions will be looking for their first win over the Netherlands since a 2-1 home victory in the 1994 World Cup qualifiers (September 1992).
Netherlands Betting Preview (-230 @ BetOnline)
Louis van Gaal was re-appointed to lead the Netherlands (for the third time) this summer and even though he is yet to lose a game, he will face another stern test of his ability. He came out of retirement (his first job since he was dismissed from Manchester United five years ago) to replace Frank de Boer, who left the job this summer following the Euro 2020 fiasco.
The Oranje suffered a disappointing 4-2 defeat at Turkey in their opener and are yet to lose a game in the World Cup qualifiers since.
The Netherlands were brilliant in their home matches so far as they have scored four or more goals in each of them. They were ruthless when they welcomed Turkey and Gibraltar in their last two home matches as they fired six past either of them and they'll need another electric attacking performance against Norway.
The Netherlands are one of the most prolific sides in UEFA World Cup qualifying (second behind Germany, who have already played all of their games), scoring 31 goals in 9 matches and Memphis Depay scored 11 of them. The Barcelona man was once again solid when he netted a brace against Montenegro but his effort wasn't enough and everyone would expect him to score against Norway.
Oranje missed a fine chance to qualify for the World Cup after they threw away a 2-0 lead against Montenegro on Saturday. The Netherlands will have to bounce back following a disappointing draw at Montenegro. Louis Van Gaal's men earned a 2-0 lead but they collapsed in the final minutes and now things can get from bad to worse if they lose to Norway.
We can say that the Netherlands collapsed following the substitution of midfielder Frenkie de Jong, so his influence will be crucial here and van Gaal won't make wholesale changes, particularly in the middle of the park.
Louis van Gaal, who celebrated his 70th anniversary in August, got himself injured when cycling and the veteran will lead the Netherlands from a wheelchair in this match.
Stefan de Vrij suffered an injury late in the 2-2 draw against Montenegro on Saturday and the experienced defender has left the Netherlands squad. However, van Gaal decided he will not call up a replacement because Matthijs de Ligt and Nathan Aké are both available to start alongside skipper Virgil van Dijk, as well as versatile Daley Blind.
Defender Jurriën Timber and attacker Steven Berghuis also withdrew from the squad due to injuries.
Arnaut Danjuma made a big move from the English Championship side Bournemouth to Villarreal in the Spanish La Liga and enjoys an impressive season so far, scoring eight goals in 15 appearances across all competitions.
Steven Bergwijn was brought on as a half-time substitute to replace Donyell Malen in Podgorica and either of them should start here, assuming that Arnaut Danjuma and Memphis Depay keep their starting spots.
Norway Betting Preview (+640 @ BetOnline)
Norway already suffered a disappointing defeat to Serbia in last year's Euro 2020 play-offs and even though their new generation is still young enough to make ideal plans for the future, another missed major tournament would be a considerable blow to their confidence.
The Lions will have to be relentless if they want to qualify for their first World Cup since France 1998 and two draws in their last three qualifying matches do not do them any favor, though a 1-1 draw at Turkey is not a bad result.
Unbeaten in seven qualifying matches since a 3-0 “home” defeat to Turkey in March (a game played in Malaga, Spain, due to travel restrictions), Ståle Solbakken's side are up against the wall and they need to play their best game to stand a chance against one of the continental giants.
Norway has an incredibly talented generation but they will have to deal without their star Erling Haaland. With the Borussia Dortmund striker on the field, we highly doubt that the Norwegians would have failed to beat Latvia, but they must be way more clinical this time, as they will hardly have so many scoring opportunities against the Netherlands.
Watford's forward Joshua King could lead the line against the Netherlands, while Real Sociedad's Alexander Sørloth may have to settle for a place on the bench unless Ståle Solbakken doesn't intend to field two strikers from the outset.
Haaland scored five goals in Norway's World Cup qualifying campaign, followed by Kristian Thorstvedt, Mohamed Elyounoussi, and Alexander Sørloth (with three goals each), so Solbakken could be reluctant to make changes to the line, despite the disappointing goalless draw with Latvia at the Ullevaal Stadion on Saturday.
Marius Lode played only his second international appearance for Norway and it remains to be seen whether the Bodø/Glimt center-back would slot into the center-back position again.
Kristoffer Ajer is still recovering from an injury while Stian Rode Gregersen returns from suspension (he missed the last qualifier due to yellow card accumulation), so Solbakken is pretty limited in options.
Possible Starting Lineups of Netherlands and Norway
Netherlands: Justin Bijlow – Denzel Dumfries, Matthijs de Ligt, Virgil van Dijk, Daley Blind – Georginio Wijnaldum, Frenkie de Jong, Davy Klaassen – Steven Bergwijn, Memphis Depay, Arnaut Danjuma. (4-3-3)
Norway: Ørjan Nyland – Marcus Holmgren Pedersen, Stefan Strandberg, Stian Rode Gregersen, Birger Meling – Mathias Normann, Morten Thorsby – Martin Ødegaard, Kristian Thorstvedt, Mohamed Elyounoussi – Joshua King. (4-2-3-1)
Spooky Express Betting Prediction
The Netherlands cannot afford to simply play for a draw (even though it suits in this match for various reasons. Starting from the dignity and also considering what already happened last night, when Portugal conceded a late goal from Serbia and Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. will have to make their way through the playoffs.
The Netherlands will take on Norway with no fans at De Kuip (due to the latest restrictions in the Netherlands) – in what was originally expected to be the first-place decider, but things have dramatically turned around.
The Oranje are still top of Group A, two points above Turkey and Norway (2nd and 3rd, respectively), but there's no room for any sort of underestimation as a defeat would likely (should Turkey beat Montenegro at the same time) see the Dutch side missing back-to-back World Cups for the first time since the '80s.
Norway, on the other hand, would fancy their chances of bagging a goal as the Dutch defense doesn't look solid enough – captain Virgil van Dijk is still working to regain his best shape after the long injury lay-off last season, while fellow defenders Matthijs de Ligt and Nathan Ake have also been far from consistent with their clubs.