A frenzy of Euro 2020 qualifiers comes to a halt on Tuesday evening with the closing round of games and Sweden are fancied to win the Scandinavian derby with Norway, while Ireland’s excellent record against Georgia may come a cropper.
There can be few international games in Europe that have been played as regularly down the years as this local rivalry, which will be staged for the 107th time in Oslo.
The last five games in Norway have finished in draws but Sweden have held sway over the years, with 58 wins compared to 24 for Norway.
The hosts scrapped hard in Spain on Saturday evening but fell to a 2-1 defeat, while Sweden were more comfortable than the 2-1 scoreline suggested as they claimed three points at home to Romania.
Norway haven’t reach a European Championship finals in two decades and they may find their path blocked by Sweden, who impressed last summer at the World Cup in Russia and have more quality at their disposal here.
The Republic of Ireland remain goal-shy, having managed only one against minnows Gibraltar in a slender success to start their campaign on Saturday on the back of four goalless games to end 2018.
Georgia have a desperately poor record against the Irish, losing eight of the nine previous meetings and all of their clashes in Dublin, but they will frustrate Mick McCarthy’s team based on recent games.
Skipper Seamus Coleman scored the only goal, a rather fortuitous one at that, in the second half when they last met in 2016 in the Aviva Stadium and Ireland look to be shaky favourites in this encounter, especially with the pressure squarely on their shoulders on to win.
Denmark are in St. Jakob-Park in Basel to launch their Group D campaign against a Swiss side that picked up three points in Georgia with second-half goals in a 2-0 win on Saturday.
Denmark are unbeaten in the duo’s last three game, two of which have ended in stalemate, and a point here would represent a solid start to the campaign for the Scandinavian visitors.
Having lost star man Xherdan Shaqiri to injury, the Swiss may not fancy this job. Equally, both sides will know that they hold the aces in terms of qualification from a group where the Republic of Ireland look to be their main rivals. A point each wouldn’t be the worst outcome and it could be cagey stuff.