Everything you need to know about Albania before EURO 2024
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Everything you need to know about Albania before EURO 2024

08/06/24 13:28

The side ranked number 66 in the world have only ever gotten as far as the group stage once, back in 2016, and will look to improve on that this year. It will be a difficult task but head coach Sylvinho’s solid defensive tactics have the potential to cause an upset or two in group B.

SQUAD

Goalkeepers Etrit Berisha (Empoli), Thomas Strakosha (Brentford), Elhan Kastrati (Cittadella)

Defenders Berat Djimsiti (Atalanta), Elseid Hysaj (Lazio), Ivan Balliu (Rayo Vallecano), Ardian Ismajli (Empoli), Arlind Ajeti (CFR Cluj), Naser Aliji (FC Voluntari), Mario Mitaj (Lokomotiv Moscow), Enea Mihaj (Famalicao), Marash Kumbulla (Sassuolo)

Midfielders Amir Abrashi (Grasshopper), Kristjan Asllani (Inter Milan), Nedim Bajrami (Sassuolo), Medon Berisha (Lecce), Klaus Gjasula (SV Darmstadt), Qazim Laci (Sparta Prague), Ernest Muci (Besiktas), Ylber Ramadani (Lecce)

Forwards Jasir Asani (Gwangju FC), Armando Broja (Fulham), Mirlind Daku (Rubin Kazan), Arber Hoxha (Dinamo Zagreb), Rey Manaj (Sivasspor), Taulant Seferi (Baniyas Club)

The standout for Albania is their solid defence, who only conceded four goals in the eight games of the qualifying stages.

The Eagles may struggle as they come up against some of the biggest sides in Europe in Spain, Italy and Croatia, but I wouldn’t lose hope just yet.

GROUP FIXTURES

Saturday 15th June: Italy vs Albania (20:00 BST) Wednesday 19th June: Croatia vs Albania (14:00 BST) Monday 24th June: Albania vs Spain (20:00 BST)

PLAYER TO WATCH

With the way the side will have to play, they will be looking for their defenders to step up to the challenge, and so you can’t look much further than Atalanta captain, centre-back Berat Djimsiti, who kept a clean sheet in the Europa League final against Bayer Leverkusen. The 31 year-old will bring all the experience and leadership the side will need if they are to get out of the group.

PREDICTION

Unfortunately for Albania I would say they have been dropped into the group of death, and I don’t see there being any way of them getting out of it. Although I do see them scraping a couple of surprising points.

Benji Kosartiyer
Journalist
Lily Perrill

Writer

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