Saturday, January 22, 2022

England vs Albania Predictions, Betting Tips And Match Preview 12/11/21

England welcome Albania to Wembley on Friday night in World Cup 2022 Qualifying Group I. 

The Three Lions currently sit top of the group and a point or more in this game will guarantee qualification. That’s incredibly likely, as Gareth Southgate’s men haven’t lost a single qualifying game so far. 

Qualification could have been wrapped up by now, had England beaten Hungary last month. In an uncharacteristically poor performance, the home side could only earn a draw. 

Credit needs to go to Hungary for that result, too. The visitors came to the home of football with a plan and almost executed it to perfection. 

That would be the template to follow for Albania here. However, they may struggle given that they didn’t get a single shot on target in the last meeting. 

Harry Kane and Mason Mount were on the scoresheet in a comfortable 2-0 win last time. Albania didn’t trouble Jordan Pickford in goal at any point and they’re not expected to do so here, either. 

Before the disappointing draw with Hungary last time, England put five past Andorra in a dominant display. Ben Chilwell, Bukayo Saka, Tammy Abraham, James Ward-Prowse and Jack Grealish were on the scoresheet that day. 

Albania held Poland for most of their game last time out. It took a 77th minute strike for the Poles to take all three points in a tight game. 

A similarly stoic performance is expected of the guests here. However, when England are on form, there’s not many who can stop them. 

Below, we’ll preview this World Cup qualifying fixture and provide our predictions, the team news, our recommended bets and more…

Gareth Southgate
Gareth Southgate can guide England to World Cup qualification with a win here…

England vs Albania Predictions 

A win in this game would see England top the qualifying group with a match to spare. That should see Southgate name as strong a team as possible for this game. 

While Albania are not expected to cause England any problems, they’re no slouches. Their tactic will be to hold the hosts out for as long as possible and try to snatch a goal. 

That approach worked well for Hungary, but it takes a lot of work to execute it. If England put in a similarly lacklustre performance, Albania will fancy their chances. 

Despite struggling for Tottenham in the Premier League this season, Harry Kane’s in good form for England. The striker has five goals so far in qualifying and had chances to add to that in the Hungary game. 

The fact that he failed to find the net in that game will no doubt frustrate the England captain. That should come as a concern for the Albanians, especially since Kane scored the first goal last time against them. 

In the last 22 games in which England were billed as the home team, the Three Lions have lost just once. That single loss came via a 1-0 defeat to Denmark back in October 2020. 

Since then, England have played 12 games as the home team, conceding just three goals. In that same time, they’ve scored 25 goals. 

Albania’s away form is pretty inconsistent. They’ve won just two of their last five away games. They were also beaten by Poland in their last international last month. 

Based on that, they’re likely to struggle here. But England will need to remain professional and be on top of their game to win the group. 

Read on for our England v Albania predictions and best bets. 

Harry Kane has struggled for Tottenham so far, but has an impressive record for England…

England vs Albania Head to Head

These two countries have met on five previous occasions, all in World Cup qualifiers. The first two games date all the way back to 1989. 

England won the first game 2-0 away and then won the reverse fixture 5-0 at Wembley. A similar result on Friday will certainly be welcome for the hosts. 

They didn’t meet again until 2001, in qualifying for the 2002 World Cup. England won the away game 3-1, before cruising to a 2-0 win back at Wembley. 

The last, and most recent, meeting came in the game back in March this year. England won that one easily enough by a 2-0 scoreline. 

In the five games so far, England have won all five, scoring 14 goals and conceding just once. 

England Team News – D W D W W

Southgate has had a few setbacks since announcing his 25 man squad for this international double header. 

Declan Rice has withdrawn from the squad due to illness. Meanwhile, Mason Mount and Luke Shaw are linking up late with the squad. Both are a doubt to start here. Luckily for Southgate, he has more than able replacements for his absentees here. 

Jordan Pickford will start in goal for the hosts. John Stones and Harry Maguire are expected to start in the centre of defence. Kyle Walker will play at right back, with Ben Chilwell likely to come in and deputise for Shaw at left back. 

Jordan Henderson will likely come in to replace Rice in midfield. He is expected to be joined by Kalvin Phillips and Phil Foden. 

Harry Kane will lead the attacking line for England. Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish are expected to start on the attacking wings. 

declan rice
Declan Rice has returned to West Ham, after failing to recover from illness…

Albania Team NewsL W W W L

The visitors are expected to name a similar starting XI that played against Poland last time out. Our England v Albania predictions expect Etrit Berisha to start in goal for the away side. 

Kumbulla and Ismajli could partner each other in the centre of defence. Veseli is likely to start at left back, with Hysaj coming in at right back. 

A midfield trio of Ramadani, Bare and Trashi could start for the visitors. Albania are also expected to name an attacking three for this game. 

Myrto Uzuni and Rey Manaj are expected to start in the attacking line. Odise Roshi started against Poland, but could be replaced by Armando Broja here. 

England vs Albania Betting Tips

It won’t surprise anyone to see that England are the favourites to win this game. The hosts are priced up at a very short 1/7 in our England v Albania match bets

A point would be enough for England to qualify. It could keep Albania’s hopes alive too, if Poland fails to win. If you think this will end all square, you can back the draw at 6/1. 

Albania has never beaten England and the odds reflect that. The visitors are a massive 22/1 to win the game, which pretty much reflects their chances. 

With no sort of value at all for an England win, we’ll explore the markets to find some alternatives. 

England vs Albania Recommended Bets

England -1 Handicap @ 8/17 

Harry Kane to Score First @ 9/4

3-0 Correct Score @ 4/1

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