• Analysis

Match Preview: Albania vs France

France, Olivier Giroud
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Albania will welcome the French National Team to the Air Albania Stadium in Tirana tonight at 20:45 (CET).

World Champions France travel to Tirana, the capital of Albania, for the closing round of the EURO 2020 qualifying campaign.

Les Bleus have already booked their place at the upcoming European Championship with a narrow 2-1 win over Moldavia on Thursday evening, as Raphael Varane and Olivier Giroud put their names on the scoresheet to turn the result around, following an early lead for the visitors.

They also took advantage of Turkey’s 0-0 draw with Iceland and climbed up to the top of Group H before the final round of the European Qualifiers.

Albania has collected 13 points from the nine games they’ve played in the qualifying campaign, which was not enough to seal a place at a second successive European Championship.

The Eagles can go as high as third in the standings, while Turkey is the second confirmed participant at the EURO 2020 from Group H.

Team news

Albania entered these final two qualifiers without the services of several key players, including captain Mergim Mavraj, midfielder Taulant Xhaka and regular strikers Armando Sadiku and Sokol Cikalleshi.

Coach Edoardo Reja switched to a 3-1-4-2 system against Andorra but he may choose to go for something more defensive against the world champions.

As for the visitors, Lyon’s Leo Dubois is likely to start in left-back ahead of Lucas Digne while Benjamin Pavard will keep his position in the starting eleven.

Arsenal youngster Matteo Guendouzi is in line to get his debut for the senior team while Steven Mandanda may start between the sticks.


France has won all six competitive encounters with Albania, including a 4-1 win in the reverse fixture in Saint-Denis.

However, the Albanians have registered one win against the French national team, a 1-0 victory back in June 2015.


Les Blues go into the final round of the European Qualifiers with a record of seven wins, one draw and one defeat, as they managed to beat all opponents but Turkey in the qualifying process.

Albania has lost just one of the last five games they’ve hosted in all competitions, but failed to beat underdogs Andora, drawing 2-2 at the Elbasan Arena three days ago.