The Euro qualifier playoff is set to kick-start with Norway hosting Hungary for the first leg at Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo on Thursday. Norway will hope to win the first leg convincingly and increase their chances of making it to the European championship in France next year.
Norway should consider themselves unfortunate as they finished third in Group H after losing to Italy in their last group game and with Croatia defeating Malta, the Croats booked their ticket for France. Hence, Norway had to settle for a playoff spot.
Per-Mathias Hogmo, Norway coach is quite confident of a good display by his players in front of the home crowd in Oslo. Hogmo believes that the team is a new one, but are a confident bunch of players.
"This group includes plenty who are still involved in European club competitions, and they will take the intensity from these matches into the Hungary game. This is a completely new Norway side. We are still a work in progress. This is a very confident group, and I am impressed at how they handle both success and failure," UEFA official website quoted Hogmo as saying.
Norway come into this match with their tails up after some impressive form of late as they have won three out of their last four games, which includes victory over Croatia and Bulgaria. With such performances under their belt, Norway should be considered favourite to clinch the 2016 Euro Cup berth.
Norway have not qualified for the European championship in the last three editions, but the 2016 edition in France gives them a great chance to qualify and are just few steps away. Hungary are their last obstacle.
Hungary were decent in Group F as they only lost two matches. However, Hungary have only won one game in their last four matches. With Norway playing at home, Hungary needs to come up with their A-class game if they are to have any chance of making it to France.
Hungary coach, Bernd Storck has worked on special plans ahead of their crucial encounter against Norway.
"Being able to gather early means we've been able to continue to build team spirit and to work on special plans and routines which perhaps we weren't able to do before," said Storck.
However, Storck is aware that they are up against a strong Norway side, which possesses a number of quality players, who play in the champions league and Europa league.
"A good start is important and of course the best thing would be to win. Norway are very good with players participating in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League," added Storck.
Where to watch live
The crucial Norway vs Hungary Euro 2016 qualifiers Playoff is scheduled for 8:45pm local time (1:15am IST, 7:45pm BST, 2:45pm ET) start with live coverage in India on Sony Kix with live streaming on Livsports.
Viewers in the US can catch Norway vs Hungary match live on Fox Sports 1 while the live stream option is on Fox Sports Go while viewers in the UK can enjoy the live coverage of Norway vs Hungary match on Sky Sports 3/HD with an option of going online on Sky Go.
Football fans in Norway can watch the game on TVNorge.