Prediction & odds for the game: Albania (10/1) v England (2/7) – ST is backing the away win
When: Sunday, 28th March @ 5pm K.O
Where: Arena Kombetare
England will attempt to set a benchmark for themselves in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying phase as they prepare to take on Albania this weekend.
Albania doesn’t exactly have a great record on the international stage but back at UEFA Euro 2016, they did manage to beat Romania in their final group game which probably should’ve given them a great platform with which to build on. Unfortunately they haven’t quite been able to do so with many now wondering if they’ll just continue to flounder in irrelevance for years to come. If they want to prove people wrong, getting a result against England would be a great place to start.
They knew they had to make some noise in their opening qualifying game as they were given the task of playing against Andorra – one of the worst sides in Europe. Alas, instead of laying down a marker they couldn’t ever really get going, and they were only able to edge out a 1-0 win that’ll hardly fill their fans with confidence.
Gareth Southgate’s men are viewed as frontrunners in the race to win the Euros this summer but during the current international break, it’s all about getting nine points from three games to set them on the path to World Cup qualification. Being able to blend these two priorities together would be tough for any manager but Southgate seems to be taking it all in his stride, even if he did say he already knows his starting XI for their first Euros game – which seems bizarre.
England’s task was even more clear cut than Albania’s in their group opener as they quite literally went up against international football’s worst nation – San Marino. The minnows tried to put up a fight but there ultimately wasn’t enough quality for them to do any damage, as England ran out emphatic 5-0 winners at Wembley.
Albania will try and leave their mark on the Three Lions but from a quality perspective, it’s clear to see that there’s just no way of comparing the two. England are heading into a tournament this summer in which they’re the favourites and if they want to live up to that billing, they need to build some momentum before the action kicks off. Therefore, we’re backing them to get the job done against the Albanians, even if it won’t be as pretty as we’d all like it to be.
Our official scoreline prediction is going to be 1-0 England, meaning we’ll be sticking to the under 2.5 goals bracket.
Verdict: Back the away win at odds of 2/7 and the under 2.5 goals scored at odds of 1/1 (All odds are taken from bet365).
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