Spain vs Norway predictions: La Roja to make winning start under De La Fuente
- Spain have not lost a home European Championship qualifier since 2003
- Norway are without talisman Erling Haaland due to injury
- Recommended bet: Spain to win and under 2.5 goals
It has not been long since the World Cup finished but qualifying for the European Championship is already upon us, with Spain kicking off their quest for a spot in Germany against Norway at Estadio La Rosaleda, Malaga.
Luis Enrique is no longer at the helm of La Roja after he resigned following the penalty-shootout defeat to Morocco in Qatar and the responsibility to bring silverware back to Spain has landed at the door of Luis de la Fuente.
Norway have only once qualified for the European Championships — that coming back in 2000 — and the absence of star striker Erling Haaland for their next two matches comes as a huge blow.
De la Fuente has been forced to make a couple of alterations to his initial 26-man squad, with Pedri withdrawing due to injury and being replaced by Yeremy Pino while Borja Iglesias has taken the spot of the injured Gerard Moreno.
Jordi Alba failed to make the cut and there are doubts whether he will add to his 91 caps, but there are places for the uncapped pair of Espanyol striker Joselu and Osasuna defender David Garcia.
Norway are without injured Manchester City ace Haaland, who has 21 goals from 23 caps, while fellow frontman Joshua King is also absent due to injury, leaving Alexander Sorloth and Jorgen Strand Larsen as the two main striking options.
Spain have won their last 22 home European Championship qualifiers — keeping 14 clean sheets in the process — while they have only lost one of their eight meetings with Norway.
La Roja have qualified for the last seven editions of the European Championships, last failing to appear in the major event in 1992, while they won eight and drew two of their 10 qualifiers for Euro 2020.
Norway are unbeaten in their last four away Euro qualifiers — winning two and drawing two — but their last defeat on the road in this sphere came against Spain in 2019, losing 2-1.
With Haaland and King both missing, there is just one player in the current squad that has reached double figures for goals, that being Sorloth who has hit the back of the net 16 times for his country.
Spain's home record is hard to ignore and the fact Norway are missing two key players up front has made the task for the visitors to come away with a positive result even harder.
With this being De la Fuente's first game in charge, it is unclear just how fluent La Roja will be and it may be a case of the team having to stay patient to make the breakthrough on Saturday.
Spain's quality should shine through in the end, but this should not turn out to be a rout for the hosts and a low-scoring victory looks to be the way to go in this one.
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