Wales v Norway – BBC Sport

Wales v Norway - action from Oslo
Norway are ranked 12th in the world in the Fifa standings, while Wales are 34th
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium Date: Tuesday, 27 October Kick-off: 16:30 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Two Wales and on BBC Sport website, live commentary on BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

Wales manager Jayne Ludlow says her side will have to be at their absolute best in every area if they are to get the positive result they need against Norway at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Even a draw would be a huge step towards a European Championship play-off appearance as Wales try to reach a major finals for the first time.

However, Norway can win group C if they claim all three points in Cardiff.

“It’s a top level game for us, we are excited,” Ludlow told BBC Sport Wales.

“We will have to be at our best. But my players want to compete and come out on top and if we do that, there is no reason we can’t come out of it with a positive result.”

Ludlow says Wales have no new injury issues. Defenders Loren Dykes and Anna Filbey are both unavailable and midfielder Megan Wynne is a long-term absentee after knee surgery.

Wales are second with 11 points in qualifying, but their group has been hit by postponements on top of the coronavirus hiatus, meaning Wales, Belarus and Northern Ireland, all challenging for second spot, have played an uneven numbers of matches.

Wales’ fate only remains in their own hands if they earn at least a point against Norway, who beat Ludlow’s side 1-0 last month, with two fixtures between Northern Ireland and Belarus also key.

However, Wales, will take heart from their performance in Oslo. They performed well against a side who had averaged eight goals a game in their first four qualifying matches and Ludlow believes her side can perform even better at the Cardiff City Stadium.

“We want to compete well and hopefully we can get the result we need,” Ludlow told BBC Sport Wales.

“It is a tough level opponent we are coming up against.

“To beat them everything would have to go right for us. But I have lots of respect for how my players compete.

“I have some tough decisions to make with selection and that’s a great thing. It’s nice to have everyone available.”

Wales have enjoyed steady improvement under Ludlow’s management and took qualification for the 2019 World Cup to the last game before losing at Rodney Parade to England.

That defeat enabled England to qualify at Wales’ expense and all-time leading scorer Helen Ward says Wales do not want to let Norway have a similar party in the Welsh capital.

Captain Sophie Ingle, who will come up against club teammates Marenn Mjelde and Maria Thorisdottir, echoed those sentiments, even though Wales could still qualify if they lose to Norway.

“We don’t want to see another team celebrating in front of us, particularly if we haven’t got the result that we need,” the Chelsea midfielder said.

“But hopefully we are not in that position on Tuesday night.

“I think we all have to be at our very best, we are under no illusion, we all have to be at our absolute best to potentially get the result that we need.

“We were disappointed to lose 1-0 away and that shows how much we’ve developed as a whole squad as we’d have been happy with that result a few years ago.

“We are looking forward to the game. We enjoy going to the big stadiums.”


Norway 1-0 Wales (Tuesday, 22 September 2020)

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