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Euro 2016 Play-off, first leg - preview and odds: Norway vs. Hungary

Published on: 09/11/2015

Euro 2016 Play-off, first leg - preview and odds: Norway vs. Hungary

November 12, 2015 20:45pm – Ullevaal Stadion

Euro 2016 Qualifier - Play-off

The Euro 2016 play-off matches get underway on Thursday night as third-ranked Group H side Norway welcome Group F hopefuls Hungary to Oslo for the first leg of their qualifying decider.

Norway with upper hand in recent years

It has been more than 30 years since Norway lost a game against Hungary, a record that they will be keen to preserve in this two-legged play-off clash. Since their last defeat in the 1982 World Cup qualifying campaign, the Norwegians have won four and drawn five of their subsequent encounters, with a 2-0 friendly win in Budapest back in 2012 their most recent triumph.

Norway missed out on automatic qualification in Group H by just a single point after losing to Italy on the final match day while rivals Croatia won away in Malta. They won six of their qualifying games and only drew once, finishing with a total of 19 points, the joint-highest haul of the third-placed teams. They are undefeated at home in their last four qualifying matches.

Norway do not have good memories of play-off matches having lost to Spain (5-1 agg) in the Euro 2004 qualifiers and the Czech Republic (2-0 agg) in the World Cup 2006 deciders. Hungary solid in qualifying

Hungary lost their final group game in Greece while rivals Romania strolled to a comfortable win away to the Faroe Islands to snatch the automatic qualifying spot. It was their first defeat in five away qualifiers and marked a disappointing end to what had been a solid campaign for Bernd Storck’s team. Hungary were left even further deflated when a late goal for Turkey against Iceland in the final qualifying game had prevented them qualifying as the best third-place team. This will be the first time that they have competed in a Euro play-off.

The Hungarians are hoping to qualify for their first major tournament since 1986 when they appeared at the World Cup Finals in Mexico. They have twice made it to the semi-finals of the Euros, in 1964 and 1972.

Team news

Roland Juhász will miss the first leg for Hungary due to accumulation of yellow cards during the qualifiers.

Recent form (qualifiers)

Norway: LWWWD

Hungary: LWDDW

Betting odds and tips

Norway had the joint-highest point’s total (along with Ukraine) of the third-placed teams but failed to qualifying due to Turkey’s better record against the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th teams in the group. In fact, Hungary also finished above them based on the qualifying criteria and were only denied a place by Turkey`s last gasp goal against Iceland.

Norway go into this match in slightly better form - they also have home advantage and are defending a 30-year unbeaten record against their opponenets. As a result, they are favourites to take a slender lead into the second leg and can be backed at 10/11 with Bet365.

Published on: 09/11/2015

Any odds displayed within this preview were correct at the time of publishing (09/11/2015 11:22:37) but are subject to change.