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Bulgaria v Norway background

With the top two playing the bottom two elsewhere in Group H, Bulgaria and Norway are in urgent need of three points, with third place their most realistic target.

Preview: European qualifiers on 3 September ©AFP/Getty Images

With the top two playing the bottom two elsewhere in Group H, Bulgaria and Norway are in urgent need of three points as they battle for third place in their UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying section.

Previous meetings
• Substitute Håvard Nielsen scored the winner as Norway defeated Bulgaria 2-1 in Oslo in their first Group H meeting on 13 October 2014.

• Martin Ødegaard came on as a substitute for Norway in that game, aged 15 years and 300 days, to become the youngest player to feature in a UEFA European Championship game.

• Bulgaria's record in 13 internationals against Norway is W6 D4 L3 (W3 D2 L0 in Sofia – W3 D2 L3 in Norway). Norway have won both of the nations' 21st century meetings 2-1.

• Bulgaria defender Veselin Minev and midfielder Svetoslav Dyakov are both a yellow card away from a suspension.

• Norway's Håvard Nordtveit and Jone Samuelsen are both a booking away from a one-game ban.

Form guide
• Bulgaria ended a four-game win-less run in Group H with a 1-0 success in Malta last time out; they are unbeaten in two competitive outings (W1 D1) since Ivaylo Petev took charge.

• Bulgaria have not won in four competitive home fixtures (D2 L2) since a 6-0 success against Malta in FIFA World Cup qualifying in March 2013.

• Norway's away results in Group H (W2 D0 L1) have been better than their home results (W1 D1 L1).
 Trivia and links 
• Bulgaria midfielder Aleksandar Tonev and Norway counterpart Stefan Johansen were team-mates in Scotland at Celtic FC before the former moved to Frosinone Calcio this summer.

• Bulgaria have had the better of the nations' eight UEFA age-group competition meetings: W4 D2 L2.

• In terms of club competition meetings, Bulgarian sides' record in seven meetings with Norwegian counterparts prior to the start of the 2015/16 season was W3 D3 L1. Most recently, PFC CSKA Sofia beat Viking FK 2-0 in a 2005/06 UEFA Cup group stage game.

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