There will be no crowd roar at Ullevaal stadium in the coming months.
On Friday, Norway will experience for the first time an empty Ullevaal stadium when they play Austria in the UEFA Nations League. The advantage of full stands is gone.
So what is left of the home team advantage?
– It is difficult to judge. In a way, I think the players of both teams are now used to playing for empty stands. But I still think there is a small home team advantage even without the audience, says Lagerbäck to NTB.
– I do not have much experience with this. This is the first time I lead a team in front of a completely empty stadium. The big advantage is that I can communicate directly with the players, says the national team manager.
Premier League players Stefan Johansen and Sander Berge are both possible starters for the match.
– We are quite safe here at Ullevaal, and I do not know how much it means to have fans with us or not. We would rather have the audience, but we just have to adapt to this, says Johansen.
– In England, I have seen that certain away teams become very comfortable when they do not feel the pressure from the stands. But all in all, you have to go out there and press on, says midfield colleague Berge.
Norway plays a new match on Monday in Belfast against Northern Ireland. It will also be without an audience and is a part of the Nations League.
In October, the Norwegian team will play three games in just seven days in Oslo. The first opportunity comes against Serbia and is the “semifinal” of the European Championship rematch.
There will most likely not be spectators at any matches for the rest of 2020.
The other matches coming up for Norway in the Nations League this year are:
October 11: Norway – Romania.
October 14: Norway – Northern Ireland.
November 15: Romania – Norway.
November 18: Austria – Norway.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today