England go in search of a victory that ought to secure their place at the 2022 World Cup when they host Albania at Wembley on Friday. The Three Lions are top of Group I, but they somewhat laboured to a win over the Eagles in Tirana back in March, with the Albanians enjoying a strong qualification campaign so far.
Where and when: Wembley Stadium – 12 November, kick-off 19:45
Where you can see England vs. Albania: ITV
Last time: Harry Kane and Mason Mount scored either side of halt-time to hand England a 2-0 victory in Albania back in March.
England v Albania Predictions and Preview
England head into their penultimate fixture of World Cup qualification top of Group I. Gareth Southgate’s side are three points ahead of Poland and four goals better off in the goal difference column, but Albania are only two points back from the Poles and still in with an outside chance of reaching Qatar 2022.
There would need to be some turnaround for that to happen over the coming days, not least because Albania are faced with a tough trip to Wembley before finishing at home to Andorra, while Poland have a double-header against the Andorrans and Hungary. A draw would surely be the minimum the Eagles need here, and that’s priced at 9/1 in the betting.
Edoardo Reja’s side are out at a massive 33/1 for the win in this England v Albania preview, so that’s probably one to avoid. The Three Lions may have been poor in their last game in drawing 1-1 at home to a distinctly average Hungary side, but under Southgate this English team has been adept at getting professional jobs done when required.
As such, anything other than the home win at 2/13 seems out of the question on Friday night. The issue with this fixture is finding some value in the home win. Given Albania have only ever scored once in five games against England, a home win to nil appears a good shout at 4/6.
England have scored 14 goals across those five previous encounters, at an average of 2.8 per game. It’s seven in two on home soil though, at an average of 3.5, and after beating both Hungary and Andorra 4-0 in September, the same outcome here is worth a look at 8/1.
It remains to be seen what sort of team Southgate puts out, but we can expect it to be strong given a victory here should seal automatic qualification to the 2022 World Cup with a game to spare. Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford is back in the squad at the expense of club mate Jadon Sancho, while fellow United man Luke Shaw is a doubt after suffering a head injury in the Manchester derby.
One to watch for England: Harry Kane has had a very slow start to the season by his standards, but the Three Lions captain will be looking to ignite his campaign while adding to his international haul of 41 goals from 65 appearances. Kane is the 2/1 favourite to open the scoring in these England v Albania predictions.
One to watch for Albania: Southampton’s Armando Broja is Albania’s top scorer in World Cup qualification and has three goals in his last five appearances for club and country. He could be one to watch at 8/1 in the anytime scorer market, or 22/1 to score first.
Long shot: A scorecast could be one of the best ways to get some big odds in these England v Albania tips. You can get 26/1 on Kane scoring first and the Three Lions going on to win 4-0, while that price increases to 254/1 if you add Kane getting a hat-trick to the selection.