Football / World Cup: Norway on the road looking to gain success on the break

Click to follow
The Independent Online
EGIL OLSEN, the Norwegian coach who has been a happy man since his side's 2-0 win over England last week, believes his team have an even chance of beating the Netherlands in tonight's World Cup Group Two qualifying match in Rotterdam.

'We have a 50 per cent chance of winning, and a far bigger chance of taking one point,' Olsen said yesterday. 'I'm aware that we meet a good team, but I am not that impressed by the Netherlands.

'I hope the Dutch will roll the ball to each other as much as they normally do. We will create our chances through counter-attacks, free-kicks and corners.' Norway are two points clear of England in the group.

Olsen is unlikely to make substantial changes to the team that beat England, but will have to replace the Oldham defender, Gunnar Halle, who is suspended after two yellow cards. Geirmund Braendesaether, of SK Brann, who would earn his first cap, and IFK Lyn's Ronny Johnsen are candidates to take his place.

The Dutch - who are still without the injured Marco van Basten - need a win against Norway to capitalise on England's poor recent showing. To cope with the Norwegians' speed, the Dutch coach, Dick Advocaat, has dropped the veteran PSV defender, Berry van Aerle, and called up Feyenoord's Ulrich van Gobbel, who makes his debut. Van Gobbel, a tall, strong defender, is one of the swiftest movers in the Dutch game.

NETHERLANDS (v Norway, World Cup Group Two, Rotterdam, tonight): Probable: De Goey; van Gobbel (both Feyenoord), R Koeman (Barcelona), De Wolf (Feyenoord), F de Boer (Ajax), Wouters (Bayern Munich), Jonk (Ajax), Rob Witschge (Feyenoord), Overmars, Bergkamp (both Ajax), Van Vossen (Anderlecht).

NORWAY (from): Thorstvedt (Tottenham), Rossbach (Lyn); Bjornebye (Liverpool), Bohinen, J O Pedersen (both Lillestrom), Leonhardsen, Sorloth (both Rosenborg), Bratseth (Werder Bremen), T Pedersen, Braendesaether (both Brann), Fjortoft (Rapid Vienna), Flo (Sogndal), Ingebrigtsen (Manchester City), Jakobsen (Young Boys Berne), R Johnsen (Lyn), Mykland (Start), Nilsen (Cologne), Rekdal (Lierse).

----------------------------------------------------------------- WORLD CUP GROUP TWO ----------------------------------------------------------------- P W D L F A Pts Norway 6 5 1 0 20 3 11 England 7 3 3 1 16 6 9 Netherlands 6 3 2 1 17 8 8 Poland 5 3 2 0 8 3 8 Turkey 8 1 1 6 7 17 3 San Marino 8 0 1 7 1 32 1 -----------------------------------------------------------------