Albania vs EnglandWorld Cup, KO: 17:00 Mar 28, 2021, Arena Kombetare
ENGLAND will be aiming to make it two wins from two in their quest to qualify for the 2022 World Cup when they travel to Albania on Sunday.
Gareth Southgate's side could have scarcely asked for a more straightforward start to their campaign when swatting aside San Marino 5-0 at Wembley on Thursday, on a night where our man Mark Walker delivered a profitable match preview.
England chief Southgate rang the changes for what was a predictably routine stroll to victory, however, England's big guns are expected to be recalled for the forthcoming fixtures against Albania and Poland respectively.
The Three Lions will be anticipating a tougher test in Tirana this weekend when they come up against an Albania side who hit the ground running with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Andora on Thursday night.
The Albanians blew hot and cold during their last qualifying campaign, with the Eagles finishing fourth in Group H behind France, Turkey and Iceland.
However, Italian manager Edoardo Reja (above) seems to have Albania well drilled at the back and their aim will be to frustrate Southgate's young Lions on Sunday evening.
Albania have avoided defeat in each of their last six matches but the bookies odds suggest that trend is set to come to an end with the hosts huge underdogs here at 11/1 with UniBet, with the draw also deemed unlikely at 9/2 with Tonybet.
England have lost just one of their last 33 World Cup qualifiers and the visitors are heavily fancied to triumph here at 3/10 with TonyBet.
The bookmaker's prices for this match unsurprisingly suggest that this will be a one-sided affair but backing England to overcome a -1.5 start on the asian handicap could be the way to go at 101/100 with Bet 365.
Here we would require England to win the game by two clear goals, a handicap that Southgate's side have overcome in five of their last six matches against sides ranked 18th or lower in the Fifa World Rankings.
In fact, this is the type of assignment that England have become particularly efficient in dealing with in recent years, not to mention in their last qualifying campaign England's fixtures averaged a whopping 5.4 goals per game.
It's also worth noting that each of England's eight Euro 2020 qualifiers produced three or more match goals and I suspect the star-studded visitors will have too much class for the Albanians on Sunday.
Indeed, Albania have undergone a marked improvement in recent years, but both France and Turkey triumphed in Tirana with a two-goal winning margin during the last qualifying campaign.
With that in mind, coupled with England's embarrassment of riches in forward areas, I'll happily back the Three Lions with a -1.5 start on the asian handicap in the Albanian capital this weekend
I'll also dip into the anytime goalscorer market and take the 5/6 on offer with Unibet for Harry Kane to get in the scoresheet.
Kane was given a rare night off against San Marino and having scored five goals in his last five appearances for Spurs the England skipper looks like a prime candidate to put Albania to the sword on Sunday night.
This World Cup match between Albania and England will be played on Mar 28, 2021 and kick off at 17:00. Check below for our tipsters best Albania vs England prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.
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