Luis de la Fuente will take charge of his first match as Spain head coach on Saturday (19:45), as La Furria Roja begin their Euro 2024 qualification campaign against Norway. We’ve previewed this game and provided you with some suggested best bets for the occasion.
Spain vs Norway Tips
Spain (1/3) have not been in action since losing on penalties to Morocco in the last-16 stage of the 2022 World Cup, and are entering a new era under De la Fuente, who replaced Luis Enrique in the dugout after the disappointment in Qatar.
La Roja managed to reach the semi-finals of Euro 2020, and were fancied as a dark horse at the World Cup, but they failed to impress and now their attention turns to securing qualification for Euro 2024 – they have been drawn in Group A alongside Cyprus, Georgia, Norway and Scotland.
Norway (17/2), meanwhile, failed to qualify for the finals of the 2022 World Cup, and they have not actually been present at the competition since 1998.
The Lions were last in action towards the end of 2022, playing two friendlies against Republic of Ireland and Finland, beating the former 2-1 before drawing 1-1 with the latter.
The major news going into this game is that Erling Haaland will not feature for Norway after withdrawing from the squad with a groin injury, and Spain would have breathed a collective sigh of relief with the announcement as the Manchester City striker has been in prolific form this season.
David Garcia and Joselu will be hoping to earn their first caps, while Iago Aspas is also back in the squad due to his form for Celta Vigo this season.
Pedri has been forced to withdraw from the squad with a hamstring injury, while Unai Simon is also on the treatment table.
As mentioned, Erling Haaland is the big miss for Norway due to a groin injury, however, Martin Odegaard, who is enjoying a fine season for Arsenal, is expected to be in the starting XI on Saturday night.
Spain to win to nil @ 19/20
Spain have lost just two of their last 23 games on home soil, a run that includes 13 clean sheets, and look well placed to register another victory in Malaga, especially without the threat of Haaland, who has scored 42 goals across all competitions for Manchester City this season.
The 22-year-old has also scored 21 goals in 23 games for Norway and they have yet to beat a team above them in the Fifa rankings without him since he made his debut in September 2019, making me think they will ultimately fall short in this match.
Alvaro Morata to score anytime @ 21/20
Despite the disappointment of the team as a whole, Alvaro Morata performed well at the World Cup in Qatar.
The Atletico Madrid man scored in all three of his country’s group games, and will be eager to add to his tally of 30 international goals on Saturday.
The Scandinavians have not kept a clean sheet in their previous five international matches, so backing the Spain captain to get on the scoresheet looks to be good value.
*All prices correct at the time of writing.
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