Norway vs NetherlandsWorld Cup, KO: 19:45 Sep 1, 2021, Ullevaal Stadium, Oslo
LOUIS VAN GAAL returns for his third stint as Netherlands manager and faces a tricky baptism of fire when he takes his side to Oslo to face Norway.
The former Manchester United boss is now 70 and last managed at Old Trafford five years ago. But the Dutch love an experienced coach and he came out of retirement earlier this month to take charge of Oranje.
His first squad saw him call up Feyenoord and Ajax defenders Tyrell Malacia and Devyne Rensch, but there was no place for Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek or Valencia goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen.
Of course, the fascinating aspect of this encounter is the clash between Norway's goal machine Erling Haaland, with the Borussia Dortmund phenomenon coming up against arguably the world's best defender, Virgil van Dijk, with the Liverpool star now back on international duty after missing almost all of last season and the Euros.
The Norwegians always appear to be on the brink of replicating their Golden Generation of the 1990s, although results don't bear that up. While the Dutch missed a great chance to go further in the Euros when they surprisingly crashed out to Czech Republic in the Last 16.
How the bookies view it
Recent head to heads
The Netherlands have won the last four meetings between the nations, although they haven't played for 11 years. Here's that meeting below in 2009 with the Dutch won 2-0. Norway haven't beaten Oranje for 29 years.
Players to watch
There's little doubt who's Norway's main man is. Haaland has scored seven international goals in just 12 appearances, but has only scored one goal in his last six internationals too.
For the Dutch, Georginio Wijnaldum is now with PSG's star-studded side, but he enjoyed a good Euros. The former Liverpool man netted three times in the Finals and will be a key man.
Anything else catch the eye?
Perhaps the Dutch look slightly short and that Czech result proved they can be flaky, but they are a team on the up and can beat the Norwegians, who time and time again appear to disappoint in games that matter.
They are already playing catch-up in this group after a disastrous 3-0 home defeat to Turkey. Their two summer friendlies saw them edge past Luxembourg and lose at home to Greece. They also chocked at home to Serbia for the Euros play-offs.
However, with Haaland in the side, you cannot completely write them off and they should be able to score. That makes the Dutch to win and both teams to score at 13/5 with Paddy Power should have a right good chance.
If the 4/5 is too short for a Dutch win, they should be able to score a couple against a generous Norwegian defence at 17/20 with McBookie.com, which looks safer.
This World Cup match between Norway and Netherlands will be played on Sep 1, 2021 and kick off at 19:45. Check below for our tipsters best Norway vs Netherlands prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.