England v Albania Preview And Predictions - World Cup Qualifiers Matchday 9
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England v Albania Preview And Predictions - World Cup Qualifiers Matchday 9

England will be eyeing up qualification for the World Cup when they welcome Albania to Wembley on Friday night. Gareth Southgate's men sit top of Group I, three points clear of Poland and although the draw will be enough to see them through to Qatar, finishing top of the group will remain the priority. Check out our preview and predictions below, and if playing online casino is your choice of entertainment, head over to Genting Casino and enjoy our premium experience with over 3000 of your favourite online slots and live casino table games available on any device.



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England’s main concern will be to secure the points and maintain their three-point lead over Poland, who have an easier assignment away to Andorra on Friday. 

However, Gareth Southgate will be hoping for a more comprehensive victory than the 2-0 triumph achieved away in Tirana back in March, though only two of Albania’s 10 defeats since the start of 2019 have come by a three-goal margin, with seven of these ending 1-0 or 2-0.

Albania have only lost four of their past 15 outings, though it’s fair to say they haven’t endured the toughest fixtures over this spell. Eight of these came against either Andorra, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Lithuania or San Marino, with all but Belarus (95th) currently ranked outside the top 100 sides in the world according to FIFA. 

Their remaining seven games from this period saw them register a W2-D1-L4 record, picking up a pair of 1-0 victories over the next-worst side they faced in Hungary. 

A goalless stalemate away in a friendly to Wales perhaps represents the most impressive result, though the Dragons didn’t have Gareth Bale in the starting line-up that day as he only played the final 20 minutes from the bench.

Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips have established themselves as Southgate’s preferred duo at the base of midfield, but with the latter absent during the last international break, the England boss experimented with a more attacking line-up last time out against Hungary. 

Mason Mount and Phil Foden started behind a front three of Jack Grealish, Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling, and with Declan Rice ruled out due to illness, Southgate will be looking for someone to partner with Kalvin Phillips.

England To Win To Nil

England had won three of their previous four outings since the summer by either 4-0 or 5-0 scorelines, with the exception a tricky trip to Poland, so there need be no concern over the output of the side. 

Harry Kane may be enduring a difficult time at club level this season, but he’s by no means the only source of threat that England have going forwards and it would come as a surprise if the Three Lions didn’t return to winning ways quite comfortably in this one.

England have registered clean sheets in 13 of their last 18 fixtures and never conceded more than a single goal in any of these games. 

The only sides to net past them were Poland on two occasions, Denmark and Italy at the Euros, as well as the recent encounter with Hungary. 

The hosts have kept their opponents out in all but two of their 20 victories over 90 minutes going back to October 2019, while Albania have failed to score in 14 of their 18 defeats since October 2017, so a win and an accompanying clean sheet looks assured here.

PREDICTION:

ENGLAND TO WIN TO NIL


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