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In a pivotal clash in the Euro 2024 qualifying campaign, Cyprus take on Norway at the AEK Arena in Larnaca. As both teams aim to bolster their respective positions, this encounter promises to be a critical fixture. While Cyprus continues their quest for its first victory in 2023, Norway are riding a wave of momentum with three consecutive wins in this qualifying campaign.
|Cyprus vs Norway Betting Tips|
Cyprus, having garnered 10 points from as many games during the Euro 2020 qualifying, have endured a challenging transition to the Euro 2024 qualifiers. They find themselves in dire straits, having failed to secure a single point in their first five matches. This predicament positions them as one of only six European nations yet to open their account.
Furthermore, in terms of goals conceded, only San Marino and Liechtenstein have fared worse than Cyprus, with the Cypriot side having let in 17 goals. This defensive fragility casts a gloomy shadow on their hopes of qualifying for another major tournament.
Their recent performances do not inspire much confidence either. A 3-0 home defeat to Group A leaders Scotland and a humiliating 6-0 loss to Spain, mark the nadir of their recent results. With this form, Cyprus find themselves firmly at the foot of Group A, and any failure to secure a victory against Norway or a defeat for Spain against Scotland will officially extinguish their hopes of a top-two finish.
Nonetheless, there is a glimmer of hope for Cyprus. They have managed to avoid defeat in four of their last seven home matches, including noteworthy victories against Estonia and Greece in the UEFA Nations League last year.
In contrast, Norway’s journey through the Euro 2024 qualifiers has seen a resurgence in their fortunes. Initially, they encountered a rocky start with just one point from their opening three Group A fixtures, including a draw with Georgia and defeats to Spain and Scotland. However, they have found their stride with back-to-back victories over Cyprus and Georgia, with a 6-0 friendly win sandwiched between.
Currently, ranked 43rd in the world by FIFA, Norway sit third in Group A, merely two points behind second-placed Spain. This sets the stage for a potentially pivotal encounter with Spain on home soil, which may prove crucial in determining their fate in this qualifying campaign.
Norway’s historical dominance over Cyprus is worth noting. They have won all 11 previous meetings, often scoring three goals or more, including a 3-1 home win in June. Yet, Norway’s away form raises questions, with just three wins in their last eight games on the road in all competitions and only two victories in their last nine away matches in Euro qualifying.
For Cyprus, Peterborough United’s Hector Kyprianou, making his senior debut for the national team, will compete for a place in the centre-midfield alongside Charalambos Kyriakou, Ioannis Kousoulos, and Michalis Ioannou. Striker Pieros Sotiriou, set to earn his 60th international cap, has the opportunity to move up the national scoring charts.
Norway, on the other hand, is expected to field a lineup similar to the one that defeated Georgia. Kristoffer Ajer, Stefan Strandberg, Leo Ostigard, and either Fredrik Andre Bjorkan or Birger Meling are likely to form the defensive line. Erling Haaland, with 25 goals in 26 international appearances, is the focal point of Norway’s attack, while Oscar Bobb and Antonio Nusa provide exciting options.
As we look ahead to this encounter, Cyprus face a daunting challenge as major underdogs. Norway’s goal-scoring record, with 14 goals in 16 international matches since the beginning of 2022, suggests that they are formidable opponents. With their aspirations of securing a top-two spot in Group A at stake, Norway are unlikely to falter in this contest. We predict a comfortable victory for Norway in Larnaca, with a final score of Cyprus 0-3 Norway.
Prediction: Cyprus 0-3 Norway