By Ian S. Palmer
Norway can end up anywhere from first to third place in Group H of Euro 2016 qualifying and it will all come down to the group’s final games on Tuesday, October 13. Norway travels to Italy and they can win the group with a win, but if they lose they could find themselves in third place and the playoffs if Croatia manages to leave Malta with all three points. The Italy vs Norway showdown will be taking place at the Olympic Stadium in Rome. Italy goes into the game with a 38-match unbeaten streak intact at home in competitive contests.
Euro 2016 Qualifying – Italy vs Norway Tuesday Oct 13
- Pinnacle currently lists Italy as the favorites at -120 with Norway +391 and a draw at +263
Head to Head:
- Italy beat Norway 2-0 on the road in their first Group H encounter last September which was manager Antonio Conte’s first game in charge of the Italian side. It was the first time since May of 1937 that an Italy vs Norway clash has been won by more than one goal. The last two-goal victory was a 3-1 win for Italy 78 in that game 78 years ago. However, the two nations have met competitively just 16 times with Italy winning nine times while Norway has won three and the other four ended up in draws.
Italy currently leads the group with 21 points and are undefeated with six victories and three draws. They’ve scored 14 times and conceded half a dozen. Their last outing was a 3-1 win in Azerbaijan on Saturday. Norway sits behind them with 19. The Norwegians have six wins, a draw and two losses with 12 goals scored and eight allowed. They also won on Saturday when they beat Malta 2-0 at home. Croatia owns third place with 17 points and are followed by Bulgaria with eight, Azerbaijan with six and Malta with two.
If Norway beats Italy they’ll win the group. If they draw and Croatia doesn’t win they’ll end up in second and if they lose and Croatia wins they’ll finish in third. If Norway draws and Croatia wins, then each team will finish with 20 points. However, since Croatia beat Norway 5-1 at home and lost 2-0 in Norway they would take second place due to their head-to-head record against each other. This makes it imperative for Norway that they go out and attempt to take all three points in Rome. The standings would be even closer if Croatia didn’t have a point deducted from them for having a swastika cut into their pitch earlier in the tournament. Italy has now qualified for the European Championships six times in a row and will be heading to France next summer even with a loss to Norway.
As mentioned, Italy hasn’t lost in their past 38 home qualifying contests with 32 wins and six draws in that stretch. The last time they dropped a decision in Italy was in September of 1999 when Denmark downed them 3-2. Their last five home wins have all been by a single goal and they have 10 wins and five draws while playing in Rome. Norway has three wins in their four Group H road games with their only loss being 5-1 to Croatia.
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