Albania vs Switzerland – Preview and Prediction
FIFA world no. 42 Albania and world no. 15 Switzerland are scheduled to face off at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis in Lens this Saturday, June 11 as they open their respective 2016 UEFA European Championship campaigns.
Albania is rated as the weakest team in Group A, which also includes powerhouse squads France and Romania, and so the expectations for them are actually quite low. A single win in the group stage will be considered a successful stint for head coach Gianni De Biasi’s squad as it would require for them to have a miraculous performance to achieve so.
Kuq e Zinjtë is coming off a 1-3 loss to Ukraine during their final friendly preparation last Saturday at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia in Bergamo, via ESPN.
Striker Armando Sadiku scored their lone goal during the contest and he is expected to provide more offense in the Euros this summer.
Their opponents must be wary, however, as the Black Eagles are capable of pulling off upsets when the other side is taking them too lightly.
In the Euro qualification matches, they defeated one of the tourney’s favorites, Portugal, making the country advance in their first-ever major international stint.
Meanwhile, Switzerland continues to be one of the best teams in Europe with familiar faces in club continental competitions.
Head coach Vladimir Petković has in his disposal Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki, Juventus defender Stephan Lichtsteiner as his team’s skipper, and Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka and Bayer Leverkusen’s Admir Mehmedi as his main scoring threats, which would be tough for any team to handle.
The team is coming off a close 2-1 victory over Moldova in their final friendly at the Stadio di Cornaredo in Lugano also last Saturday, as per Daily Mail Online.
Mehmedi’s strike at the 75th broke the 1-1 deadlock for the Swiss during the match as they finally won one of their four friendlies before heading into the tournament. They lost their previous four exhibition matches against Ireland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Belgium.
The predicted result is a 3-1 decision for Switzerland.
Albania starting lineup (4-3-3 formation): Berisha; Hysaj, Cana, Mavraj, Agolli; Xhaka, Kace, Abrashi; Roshi, Sadiku, Lenjani
Switzerland starting lineup (4-2-3-1 formation): Burki; Lichtsteiner, Schar, von Bergen, Rodriguez; Behrami, Xhaka; Shaqiri, Dzemaili, Embolo; Derdiyok