Albania hosts France in round 10 of Euro qualification. The match will be played on Sunday, November 17th at Arena Kombëtare (Tirana)
The wards of Edoardo Reja did not hold this qualifying cycle in the best way. After nine rounds played, they already lost any chance of reaching the group stage of the European Championship next year. Taking fourth place in the standings, Albania has 13 points with a goal difference of 16:12. It played four home games to this stage. In the first one, the Albanians lost to Turkey, having conceded two unanswered goals. In the second one, they beat Moldova (2-0), the third one ended with a rather unexpected victory over Iceland (4:2), and the fourth game ended in a sensational draw with the outsider of the group, Andorra (2:2). The Albanians are not in the best condition before the upcoming match, having minor psychological problems after a failure with Andorra.
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The mean of Didier Deschamps did not play for the maximum amount of their capabilities in this qualification. However, such a game was enough for them to promote to the group stage of the European Championship next year. After nine rounds played, France takes the first line in the standings, having 22 points scored with a goal difference of 23:6. I will note that the French lost points in head-to-head meetings with Turkey, which also got into the group stage of the European Championship. The French held four games away. In the first one, they calmly dealt with Moldova, defeating their opponent with a 1:4 score. In the second one, they sensationally lost to the Turkish national team, having conceded two unanswered goals. The third one ended in a calm victory over Andorra (0:4), and France confidently beat Iceland in the fourth one, scoring the only unanswered goal. The French approach the upcoming match in a daily state, and they will obviously use rotation to give more experience to young players.
Of course, the current world champions are an absolute favorite, replaying their opponent in all respects. But I will notice that the French are reluctant to play and spend very little effort, thereby playing as if for bookmakers. The Albanians can compete with many teams even with the TOP prefix on their territory, so do not underestimate them here, despite their draw with Andorra in the last round. Therefore, taking into account all these factors, I would bet on the plus handicap of the home team.
Prediction for the match: Albania to win with +2.0 handicap