Albania – France
Looking to secure the first place in Group H of the European qualifiers, the world champion France visits Albania at the Arena Kombetare in the capital Tirana.
On Thursday France had the pleasure to climb at the top of the group after their suprisingly difficult 2-1 win over Moldova in Paris. This was possible because of the draw which the leader Turkey made during their game against Iceland on the same day. After these two results, now France are two points ahead of Turkey and a win in Tirana would guarantee them the top position.
On Thursday Les Bleus hosted the weakest team in the group Moldova at the Stade de France and we all expected to see many goals scored by home side. Well, it didn’t work out like that. Until the 79th minute the result in Paris was 1-1, before Olivier Giroud to score the winner from a penalty kick. Before this Raphael Varane also scored for Didier Deschamps’ team, while Vadim Rata scored for the Moldovians.
France got criticized for their performance on Thursday, despite the win. Antoine Griezmann continues to struggle since his transfer to Barcelona, while Kingsley Coman and Kylian Mbappe also didn’t impress. We shall see if Deschamps is going to make some adjustments against Albania.
Meanwhile Albania continue to be 4th in the group with 13 points won so far and a record of 4 wins, 1 draw and 4 losses. On Thursday they really humilated themselves, doing a 2-2 draw at home against Andorra. Bekim Balaj and Rey Manaj scored for Albania at the Elbasan Arena, but Andorra really surprised their hosts with two goals behind Etrit Berisha’s back.
In conclusion we can say that France have big motivation to win this game, because this would allow them to finish first in the group. Albania showed against Andorra that they are not in their best shape, so we think Les Bleus will triumph here.