Albania v Scotland Betting Tips & Predictions
Football fans are hit with another call-off. All the major leagues around Europe take a break in play to make way for international fixtures on 17th November, including the rematch of Albania v Scotland. That’s sure to be met with the usual moans and groans from lovers of the English Premier League and Scottish Premiership; however, bookmakers make up for the loss by offering plenty of betting value.
That should help inject a bit of interest into the occasion. There’s lots to sort through on Saturday afternoon with UEFA Nations League matches taking place in many groups. Sky Sports screen the majority of fixtures live, with kick-off times staggered between 2.00pm and 7.45pm.
We’re going to concentrate on goings on at Loro Borici, where local side Albania seek revenge over a visiting Scotland team. The team that inflicted a 2-0 defeat on them at Hampden earlier in the tournament.
Group C1 is wide-open heading into game three. However, both managers need the points if they are to have any chance of winning the pool and bolstering their chances of heading to Euro 2020.
Albania Going All Out for Revenge
Albania set-up on the back of a three-match winless run that has seen them lose two and draw one during that drought. They have, in fact, managed just one victory in their last five outings in all competitions; the spare came against Israel in this format back in September, courtesy of a narrow 1-0 scoreline in front of their own fans at the Elbasan Arena.
Xhaka scored the only goal of the match that day, hitting the net on 55 minutes. Although there were chances at either end in the 35 that followed, neither side could change things. The Eagles were happy with the result, however, tight as it gave them a foothold in the division. They go into their fourth leg of the campaign with just three points on the board, that 1-0 win followed by a pair of defeats.
The first of those losses came in Glasgow at the hands of Scotland, ending on the wrong side of a 2-0 result. The final score didn’t tell the story of how the match went as the winning side really should have scored a few more and 5-0 wouldn’t have flattered them.
Djimsiti knocked the ball into his own net under heavy pressure on 47 minutes; that was added to by a deserving goal from Hearts striker Naismith who had worked tirelessly since stepping onto the pitch, eager to nail down the main striker role for both club and country. The former Rangers man appears to have done just that and will lead on Saturday.
Bookies Write Off the Home Win
That loss was followed by a goalless draw with Jordan in a friendly match. The less said about that the better, as it was a 90 minutes devoid of any real quality. 2-0 was again the margin of defeat when returning to competitive action; this time Israel twisted the knife at Turner Stadium to leave Albania’s hopes of progression hanging by a thread. Will Scotland cut that connection on Saturday?
It’s fair to say bookmakers don’t hold much hope for a home win and are confident enough to offer 41/20 poke, available when doing your betting at 888Sport.
Pressure on Strachan & Scotland
Despite that win over Albania on home turf earlier in the group, pressure is mounting on Scotland manager Gordon Strachan and his team. Many believe this is the worst squad we’ve seen in a long while. Furthermore, fans don’t have an awful lot of time for the gaffer either; critics believe he is past his best and belongs to an era that should roll over and make way for the future. A little harsh, perhaps, but that view has been built on decades of watching the national team fail to qualify for a major tournament.
The Tartan Army are doing something we don’t see from them often. They are staying away from matches, choosing to withdraw their support until they see better. Some might think that strange from some of the best, most colourful and loyal supporters in the world, but who could blame them? Football is a results driven business and followers haven’t had a lot to cheer in recent times.
It doesn’t look like better times are fast-approaching either. There’s no lack of individual quality in the team; however, the results don’t reflect that and the win over Albania was their only victory in a tough six-match spell, that period made up of five defeats and 12 goals conceded.
Scotland Have Lost Their Last Two
Since beating Albania, Scotland lost each of their next two. Firstly, they were downed 2-1 by Israel on the road in their second Nations League outing – a match they really should have won; then they were swept aside by a Portuguese side who dealt out a 3-1 hammering at Hampden Park in front of no more than 20,000 people. That alone tells the feeling north of the border at the minute.
Scoring in Albania will be no mean feat; however, this is a must win for the visiting team or heads will surely roll. That’s not said lightly either. The SFA are beginning to recognise their popularity is fading fast as supporters begin to point the finger of blame towards the blazers following years of mismanagement and embarrassment.
Traders think Saturday will bring about a return to winning ways and the Scotland roar is 4/7 (888Sport) a price best suited to your accumulators.
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