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Jul 7, 2022 at 8pm UK at St. Mary's Stadium
Norway Women
4 - 1
N Ireland Women
Blakstad (10'), Maanum (13'), Graham Hansen (31' pen.), Reiten (54')
FT(HT: 3-0)
Nelson (49')
Robson (53')

Preview: Norway Women vs. Northern Ireland Women - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Norway Women vs. Northern Ireland Women - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's Women's European Championship clash between Norway Women and Northern Ireland Women, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Norway Women will begin their Women's Euro 2022 campaign against Northern Ireland Women at St Mary's on Thursday.

Kenny Shiels is leading Northern Ireland into their first major tournament, while Martin Sjogren is aiming to guide his side to their third European Championship trophy.

Match preview

Norway have been crowned champions of Europe on two occasions, but the most recent of those triumphs occurred in 1993.

In their seven European Championship campaigns since lifting the trophy 29 years ago, Norway have reached the final on two occasions.

However, their performance at Euro 2017 could have been regarded as their worst ever major tournament appearance after losing all three group games.

After performing so poorly five years ago, Norway will be motivated to progress from a group that contains England, Austria and Northern Ireland.

Sjogren's side will certainly head into the tournament in a confident mood after winning their last five matches, including a 2-1 victory over Denmark in their most recent outing.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland are preparing to face familiar opponents after finishing four points behind Norway in Euro 2022 qualifying.

As a result of their second-placed finish, Northern Ireland faced Ukraine in the playoffs for a place at the European Championships, and they managed to cement their spot in the history books with a 4-1 aggregate win.

The Green and White Army know that as the lowest-ranked side at the tournament, they face an uphill struggle to pick up points in the group stage.

Preparations have also been less than ideal, with their last four matches all ending in defeats, while they are currently winless in five games.

Although picking up a positive result on Thursday may prove difficult, Northern Ireland will be hoping to experience a closer contest than their two meetings against Norway in qualifying which both resulted in 6-0 defeats.

Norway Women form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Northern Ireland Women form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Team News

Maren Mjelde is Norway's captain, and the Chelsea player is expected to form a partnership with Maria Thorisdottir in the centre of defence.

Ingrid Engen is set to feature in central midfield alongside Frida Maanum, which could result in Vilde Boe Risa settling for a place on the bench.

After ending her exile from the national side in March, Ada Hegerberg will be Norway's main goal threat throughout the tournament.

As for Northern Ireland, they could opt to utilise a back five as they bid to repel the attacking quality that Norway possess.

Their captain Marissa Callaghan is an injury doubt after missing the final warm-up game against Belgium, and if the 36-year-old is unable to feature on Thursday then Nadene Caldwell will partner Rachel Furness in the centre of midfield.

Meanwhile, Lauren Wade could have the lonely task of leading the line for Northern Ireland in a contest where the Green and White Army may see very little of the ball.

Norway Women possible starting lineup:
Pettersen; Blackstad, Mjelde, Thorisdottir, Josendal; Eikeland, Engen Maanum, Reiten; Hansen, Hegerberg

Northern Ireland Women possible starting lineup:
Burns; Magee; Nelson, McFadden, Burrows, Vance; Magill, Nelson, Furness, K. McGuinness; Wade

We say: Norway Women 4-0 Northern Ireland Women

Norway have cruised to 6-0 victories in their last two meetings against Thursday's opponents, and although we do not expect Northern Ireland to conceded six goals for a third time, we still think Sjogren's side will pick up a comfortable win.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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