Moldova take on the visitors Albania in the round 9 match of group stage of UEFA Euro-2024 qualification. The match will be played on Friday, November 17th at Stadionul Zimbru (Chişinău).
It sounds unusual and surprising, but two rounds before the end of the Euro qualification, Moldova still theoretically has a chance to qualify. Yes, the key words here are "theoretically," as many things need to align for this scenario to happen. Nevertheless, Moldova will leave a positive impression from its performance in this qualifying cycle and will give its all in the upcoming matches. In the current tournament, the Moldovan team pleasantly surprises in attack. Under the guidance of Sergey Kleschenko, they defeated Poland at home (3-2) and managed to score away against the same opponent (1-1). They also found the net against the Faroe Islands in both matches (1-1 and 1-0). Although they couldn't break through the defensive lines of Albania away, they might be able to do it on their own turf.
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After two home victories against Poland (2-0) and the Czech Republic (3-0), Albania is already almost certain of a place in the Euros. In the remaining matches against Moldova (away) and the Faroe Islands (home), even four points would be enough for the "Mountain Eagles." The task is achievable. A draw in Chisinau would be satisfactory for the visitors, but they are still going for a victory. Albania has an impressive attack, but all their clean victories in the current qualification have been at home. As mentioned earlier, they defeated Moldova (2-0) on their home turf. However, away from home, the "Mountain Eagles" conceded in all three matches: a victory against the Faroe Islands (3-1), a draw with the Czech Republic (1-1), and a loss to Poland (0-1).
Considering the current standings, the overall situation in the group table, and the remaining matches, a draw in Chisinau, coupled with a win at home against the Faroe Islands in the final round, will be enough for Albania to secure a place in the Euros. While playing against Moldova, the guests will be in full force and are considered favorites with a good chance of winning. However, they won't necessarily go all out for a win. Therefore, I'll refrain from betting on an away win and would rather take a risk on "Both Teams to Score." Moldova has shown attractive football in this qualification cycle, and at least at home, they can score against any team in their group. I have no doubts about the guests' ability to score since Albania's attack is strong, but the hosts are not defensively impeccable. I lean towards the idea that class will prevail, and the favorite will still win. However, a hypothetical draw like 1-1, which would suit the guests, would not surprise me. My prediction is Both Teams to Score!
Prediction for the match: Both teams to score – yes.