Michael O’Neill will hope to kick off his reign as Northern Ireland manager with victory when Norway are the visitors to Belfast’s Windsor Park on Wednesday night.
The away side will hope that their return to British soil is a more productive trip than their last visit, when they were soundly beaten 4-1 by Wales in November 2011.
The Norwegians are, in fact, 11/8 (2.38) favourites with Bet365 to record a victory here to spoil O’Neill’s party. The hosts are priced up at 2/1 (3.0) to grab a victory with the same firm, whilst the draw is rated as a 11/5 (3.2) shot.
Norway endured heartache in qualification for the European Championships, losing out on a play-off spot by virtue of goal difference, after being edged out by Portugal.
Northern Ireland on the other hand, had a thoroughly miserable campaign, epitomised by two defeats to Estonia. In the end up they finished fifth; an outcome which, ultimately, led to Nigel Worthington’s departure as manager.
The home side, though, will be full of fresh optimism when they take to the field under a new boss and a 1-0 victory for the hosts is priced up at 15/2 (8.5) with Bet365.
Despite a change in management, it must be acknowledged that goals, or a lack thereof, have been the men in green's Achilles’ heel in recent years.
In fact, Northern Ireland managed just nine goals in 10 qualification matches for Euro 2012 and the problems they face in scoring are characterised by the chunky 14/1 (15.0) with Bet365 on offer for a 2-0 victory. The Scandinavians can be backed at 11/2 (6.5) to edge a 1-0 victory, whilst a 1-1 draw is 5/1 (6.0) with Bet365 and that is the scoreline that appeals most in terms of a value bet.
One price that looks tempting is the 15/4 (4.75) with Bet365 that the contest is level at both half time and full time, whilst the 3/5 (1.60) for fewer than three goals to be scored, despite being short, looks like a really solid selection. However, as is often the case with international friendlies, value lies with the draw and that must be snapped up here.
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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter here.