10th of June 2016 Author: Johnny Karp
Albania make their debut at a major tournament on Saturday when they play Switzerland in their first match at Euro 2016. The two teams have met six times before, Switzerland won five times and one match ended in a draw. The last direct meeting was in 2013, when Switzerland won 2-1 in Tirana. There are several players with Albanian descent in the Swiss team, including Xherdan Shaqiri and new Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka.
Albania, led by Italian head coach Gianni De Biasi, have qualified after finishing second behind Portugal in their qualifying group. That has been probably the biggest surprise of the qualifying campaign, but Albania are up against it at the final tournament as they are the lowest ranked team of all participants. They have also surprised the world by beating France in a friendly last year, but since that result they only managed to win three matches out of ten. Those win were against Qatar, Luxembourg and Armenia.
Switzerland qualified second behind England but their recent form has been quite disappointing. They lost four of their last six matches but they won their last warm-up friendly 2-1 against Moldova. Head coach Vladimir Petkovic has no injury concerns ahead of this match, so he can field his best possible eleven. They have scored at least two goals in their last three matches against Albania, and they have won 7 of their last 8 European Championship qualification matches.
Albania: Berisha - Hysaj, Mavraj, Cana, Agolli - Xhaka, Kace, Abrashi - Gashi, Cikalleshi, Lenjani
Switzerland: Sommer - Lichtsteiner, Djourou, Schar, Rodriguez - Dzemaili, Behrami, Xhaka - Shaqiri, Derdiyok, Embolo
My prediction: Switzerland to win 2-1.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Albania win - 5.50
Draw - 3.40
Switzerland win - 1.83
16th of November 2015
10th of June 2016
Albania 1 vs Albania 2, the best "Albanian" players plays for Switzerland, without Shaqiri, Dzemaili, Xhaka, Behrami, Mehmeti, Switzerland wouldn't be so strong as they are now. I'm sure that this will be interesting game, this match is special, because on one side we have Granit Xhaka, on other side is Taulant Xhaka. The best way to describe this match, Brother vs. Brother. I'm cheering for real Albania :)
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