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SA take on Norway at the Cape Town Stadium on Tuesday for the second time in four years, this time in preparation for the 2013 Afcon

Bafana would be determined to get the year off to a winning start and build valuable momentum heading into the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations on the 19th of January.

For the friendlies against Bafana Bafana and Zambia respectively Norway coach Egil Olsen has selected a squad comprised entirely of Scandinavian-based players. 

Olsen, who is in his second spell as national team coach will tour South Africa with a relatively young squad and will look to find the right partnership going into their World Cup qualifiers. 

In his first stint, he successfully guided Norway to their first finals in America in 1994. He followed up the massive achievement by guiding Norway to the round of 16 at World Cup 1998 in France. 

Olsen parted ways with Norway soon after World Cup 1998 and went on to coach a string of clubs across Europe and also had a short spell as the head coach of the Iraqi national team. 

Since he took over in 2009 he guided Norway to a third place finish in their Euro 2012 qualifying group, losing out to a playoff spot by a margin of goal difference. They accumulated 16 points in a tough group that consisted of Denmark and Portugal respectively.

Norway are currently second in their World Cup qualifying group, 3 points behind group leaders Switzerland. They will be confident that they can book a place in Brazil 2014 if they can muster up a few strong performances leading into the final rounds of qualification. 

Drillos as they are known by their fans face Bafana on the back of a 2-0 victory against Hungary in November last year.

Norway travel to South Africa without the likes of Hangeland, Riise, Morten Gamst Pedersen and Nordtveit but will still pose a stellar test for the South Africans with what is a youthful side with a few old timers. Forward Erik Huseklepp will be a threat for the South African defence. 

Huseklepp has had stints at English clubs Portsmouth and Birmingham City and has been capped 30 times by Norway. He memorably scored the winning goal for Norway against Portugal in a Euro 2012 qualifying game and last scored for the team in a 4-1 defeat against Wales in November last year. 

The player most likely to join Huseklepp in attack is forward Tarik Elyounoussi, the Moroccan born striker has excelled at international level scoring 5 times in 15 appearances for Norway.

Ruben Yttergård Jenssen will look to pull the strings in midfield for Norway. The previous Norway under-21 captain has accumulated over 150 caps for his club side at the tender age of 24 as well as 19 caps for the national side.

Even though Norway will be making their journey south without most of the stars in their team, they  will still be a tough team to face for Bafana Bafana, and hopefully this so called friendly will turn out to be quite a spectacle for the fans.

Norway's squad:

GOALKEEPERS - André Hansen (Odd Grenland), Rune Almenning Jarstein (Viking Stavanger)

DEFENDERS - Fredrik Semb Berge (Odd Grenland), Vegard Forren (Molde), Ruben Kristiansen (Tromsø), Tore Reginiussen (Rosenborg), Espen Ruud (Odense, Denmark), Lars Christopher Vilsvik (Strømsgodet)

MIDFIELDERS -Yann-Erik de Lanlay (Viking Stavanger), Magnus Wolff Eikrem (Molde), Mohammed Fellah (Vålerenga), Ardian Gashi (Helsingborg, Sweden), Ruben Yttergård Jenssen (Tromsø), Stefan Johansen, Anders Konradsen (both Strømsgodset)

FORWARDS - Jo Inge Berget (Molde), Tarik Elyounoussi (Rosenborg), Erik Huseklepp (Brann Bergen), Marcus Pedersen (Odense, Denmark), Alexander Toft Søderlund (Haugesund).


 

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