2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying: England vs Albania

England look to seal qualification as Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions host Albania at Wembley Stadium in Group I of UEFA Qualifying for 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Victory would see England move to within a point of securing their place at next year’s World Cup but they will wrap up qualification if Poland fail to win away in Andorra.

Albania meanwhile must win to keep their qualification dreams alive.

 

Team News

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Mason Mount is unlikely to be available for England after recently undergoing dental work.

Luke Shaw (concussion) is a doubt but Marcus Rashford (fitness), Declan Rice and James Ward-Prowse (both illness) are ruled out of this month’s qualifiers.

Albania have no fresh injury concerns to report with a full squad set to be available for selection.

 

Stat Attack

  • England are unbeaten in five previous meetings against Albania in all competitions (W5).
  • Albania have lost their two previous visits to England in which they conceded seven goals across both trips (L2).
  • John Stones’ equaliser against Hungary marked the first time that an England defender has scored at home in eight matches since Harry Maguire netted against Poland in March.
  • Armando Broja has scored in three of Albania’s last four matches with all three of his goals coming after half-time (W3, L1).
  • England won two previous home matches refereed by Felix Zwayer – beating Slovenia in October 2017 and Kosovo in September 2019.

 

Prediction

After struggling to impress against a compact Hungary in their last home outing at Wembley despite increasing their intensity across the match, England need a huge performance if they’re to put their qualifying destiny in their own hands on Monday in San Marino.

Albania meanwhile know that anything less than a win would end their qualification hopes so I do expect them to go for it here, especially given their recent goalscoring form which could suit England if their defence is solid and can hit them on the counter.

This match though is unlikely to be easy by any stretch but if England can put their stuttering home display from last month behind them, they should have enough in them to get the win no matter what Albania throw at them.

Prediction: England 2-1 Albania

Result: England 5-0 Albania

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