The uncertainty over Albania’s home game against England seems to have dissipated and the game will go on after the Albanian police assured they’ll guarantee public order for the game to go on. Both nations are coming from wins in their Group I matches and will each be hoping to squeeze three points here before facing Poland and Hungary, the other tough sides in the group. Albania registered a fourth straight win after beating Andorra 1-0 and are now unbeaten in six matches ahead of the England game. They’ve lost just two of their last 11 games but England will be a much stronger opponent. Albania have scored two goals or more in five of their last 10 matches and carry to this game just two clean sheets in the last 10 home games. None of the last seven matches at home has produced a clean sheet for the team. However, they have three straight home wins, and scored two or more in each of them. In their last four World cup qualification matches at home, they have three losses and have failed to score in the losses. The hosts have just two clean sheets to show from their last 13 home matches in the World Cup qualifiers.
England, as expected thrashed San Marino 5-0 in their opening game of the group. They will have a much stronger opponent in Albania but Gareth Southgate rested key players for the opening game and will have a lot of fresh legs here. The win over San Marino was the team’s third in five matches but second in a row. They have seven wins and seven clean sheets in the last 10 matches which should give them the confidence needed going to this away match. England have failed to score in three of their last 10 matches, but in six of the 10, they’ve scored two or more. Their last two away matches have been against formidable opponents – Denmark and Belgium – and England failed to score a goal, but this one should be manageable. They’ve lost just three of their last 10 away matches but in World Cup qualifiers England have five straight wins and are unbeaten in 22. In their last 33 matches in World Cup qualifiers, England have lost just once.
KEY POINTS: ALBANIA VS ENGLAND
England have lost once in 33 World Cup qualification matches.
England have seven clean sheets in their last 10 matches.
Albania are unbeaten in their last six matches.
Albania have three straight wins at home.
Albania have two clean sheets in the last 13 home matches in World Cup qualification.
Prediction: England Win
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