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Euro 2024: Italy vs Albania Preview, Prediction & Betting Picks

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Euro 2024: Italy vs Albania Preview, Prediction & Betting Picks

Italy take on Albania in their first game of the European Championships, as they look to retain their title after their victory in 2021.

Date: 6/15/24

Kick-off time: 12:00 Pacific Time

Venue: Signal Iduna Park

Matchday one in Group B sees Italy take on Albania. It is a difficult group which also contains Spain and Croatia, so it will be crucial for each side to get off to a strong start. Italy are the current holders of the competition, looking to win it for the third time in their history. The Italians finished second in their qualifying group behind England, and ahead of Ukraine on goal difference.

This will be just the second appearance at the Euros for Albania, with their debut campaign coming in 2016. They were eliminated in the group stages, so they will be hoping to make it further this time. In qualifying, they finished top of their group, ahead of Czech Republic on goal difference.

Albania have scored six goals in their last two games, after scoring one in the previous four. This could give them some much needed confidence heading into the tournament. However, they could find it hard to break down a tough Italy defence. They will be spearheaded in attack by Chelsea striker Armando Broja, who endured a frustrating second half of the season in which he scored zero goals on loan at Fulham. He did score in a friendly against Liechtenstein last week. Italy have been inconsistent in front of goal, as they have been shut out twice in their last six. They do have a number of attacking threats, though, such as Gianluca Scamacca, who has scored 19 goals in all competitions for Atalanta this season.

These two countries have only met four times in the past. Unsurprisingly, Italy have been the dominant side, winning all four games. All fixtures have come in the last 10 years, the most recent being an international friendly in November 2022. This ended 3-1 to Italy, though Albania scored their first ever goal in this matchup. It was also the opening goal in this game, scored by Ardian Ismaji. However, the Italians fought back to win, with strikes from Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Vincenzo Grifo completing the turnaround.

Team News

Italy Team News

Italy cut Riccardo Orsolini, Samuele Ricci and Ivan Provedel from their provisional squad. Francesco Acerbi and Giorgio Scalvini will miss out through injury. Destiny Udogie, Domenico Berardi and Nicolo Zaniolo are also injured.


Albania Team News

Berat Djimsiti will captain the side, whilst Chelsea striker Armando Broja will hope to play a big role by leading the team in attack.

Italy To win

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Yes @ -250
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Both teams to score

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Chiesa to score at anytime

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Yes @ +200
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Form Guide

Italy Form Guide

In their last five games, Italy have won three and drawn two. The Italians have been in good form as they head into the European Championships unbeaten in this recent stretch. This run started with their final European qualifier, which they drew 0-0 with Ukraine to secure second place in their group above their opponents on goal difference. However, the game was clouded in controversy, as Ukraine felt they should have been awarded a penalty at the death.

They then took part in a friendly against Venezuela, a 2-1 win. Mateo Retegui put them ahead, but Venezuela responded almost instantly with an equaliser. Retegui scored his and his side’s second goal of the game with 10 minutes to go to win the game. They followed this with another victory, this time 2-0 at Ecuador. Both goals came at either end of the game, the first in the third minute through Lorenzo Pellegrini. Chances were hard to come by for both teams, but the game was put to bed in second half stoppage time with a goal from Nicolo Barella.

Their second goalless draw of the stretch came against Turkey. There was hardly anything to split the two teams, with both attempting two shots on target, and a mere 8% between them in possession. However, neither side could take advantage of their opportunities and find the breakthrough. Italy’s most recent game was a friendly with Bosnia & Herzegovina, in which they won 1-0 thanks to a Davide Frattesi goal.

Albania Form Guide

In their last five games, Albania have won two, lost two and drawn one. It has been an inconsistent stretch for Albania heading into the Euros, but they have picked up form as of late with two wins in a row. The latest was a 3-1 friendly win over Azerbaijan. They took an early lead through Nedim Bajrami, before Rey Manaj and Qazim Laci added two more late on. Azerbaijan pulled one back in the dying minutes, but it proved to be nothing more than a consolation.

This followed another comfortable victory over Liechtenstein as they won 3-0. Striker Armando Broja broke the deadlock after half an hour, and Jasir Asani doubled the lead immediately after the restart. A third goal came from Ernest Muci to complete the scoring. It was a great response to what had been a poor international break in March. They suffered two defeats to Sweden and Chile. Against Sweden, they lost 1-0, attempting just one shot on target the entire match. The Swedes took advantage of one of their opportunities, with Gustaf Nilsson’s 62nd minute strike the slim difference between the sides.

Chile beat them 3-0 the week before. Again they struggled in attack, this time mustering no shots on goal. Eduardo Vargas gave Chile the lead, which was added to late on by Marcos Bolados and Victor Davila. The first game of this run was a goalless draw with the Faroe Islands in the final European Qualifier. Albania were much the better side, but could not find a breakthrough. This result helped them finish top of their qualifying group.

FlashPicks Prediction

Albania have lost all four games they have played against Italy, and we expect this torrid form to continue in their first ever meeting at a major competition. They will hope to make it difficult for the Italians, but the superior quality of their opponents will be too difficult to overcome – Italy 2-0 Albania

Header logoEuropean Championship - Group B

PosClubPWDLGDPTS
1
Team logoSpain
2200+46
2
Team logoItaly
210103
3
Team logoAlbania
2011-11
Last updated 24/06/2024

Header logoEuropean Championship - Group B

PosClubPWDLGDPTS
2
Team logoItaly
210103
3
Team logoAlbania
2011-11
4
Team logoCroatia
2011-31
Last updated 24/06/2024

Where to watch Italy vs Albania

Italy vs Albania will be available to watch on Fox

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