Striking options look to be poles apart
The Poles have collected seven points from three Group E games and Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski has led the charge, scoring five of their seven goals.
Last month’s 3-2 victory at home to Denmark (courtesy of a Lewandowski hat-trick) came at a cost with striker Arkadiusz Milik sustaining a serious knee injury.
But the impact of Milik’s loss might not be as bad as first feared because another Polish forward, Anderlecht’s Lukasz Teodorczyk, has been playing superbly.
Teodorczyk has scored eight goals in his last eight games and looks ready to help Lewandowski to put Romania to the sword.
Plenty of resistance can be expected from the Romanians, who have conceded one goal in three qualifiers, but they cannot match Poland’s attacking quality.
Czech Republic qualified for Euro 2016 as group winners but their chances of reaching Russia 2018 have receded after taking two points from three games and Norway won’t roll over either.
After three rounds of fixtures the Czechs stand alongside Cyprus as the only two teams yet to have scored, but their struggles started last summer and they go into Friday night’s game without a win in six competitive outings.
Norway are only a point better off and also need to improve after losses at home to Germany (3-0) and in Azerbaijan (1-0).
But they finished only a point behind a very strong Croatia side in Euro 2016 qualifying and their young team is likely to improve.
Qualification for the World Cup is possible and they have at least as good a chance as the Czechs, who are poor value even-money favourites on Friday evening.
France have responded to their Euro 2016 disappointment by taking seven points from nine in Group A and are 2-7 to win Friday night’s top-of-the-table clash with Sweden.
Defenders Samuel Umtiti and Bacary Sagna are injured but star attacking trio Dimitri Payet, Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann look set to start. Sweden’s attacking resources are stretched by the absence of injured striker Marcus Berg.
Norway or draw double chance
2pt 17-20 Ladbrokes
1pt 8-5 bet365