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Euro 2016 Qualifier preview and odds: Albania vs. Serbia


Published on: 07/10/2015

Euro 2016 Qualifier preview and odds: Albania vs. Serbia

October 8, 2015 19:45pm – Elbasan Arena

Euro 2016 – Group I

Surprise package Albania are already sure of making the play-offs but can boost their chances of automatic qualification with a win over bottom-of-the-table Serbia in Elbasan on Thursday night.

Albania in bid to reach first finals

Gianni De Biasi’s Albania are just four point behind table-toppers Portugal and just a point behind second-placed Denmark. If they beat Serbia on Thursday, they will greatly increase their chances of taking a direct qualification route to France. Even if they fail in their quest to finish in the top two, they are still guaranteed a place in the play-offs. Their rivals for the other top-three positions, Demnark and Portugal, will face each other on the same night.

The Albanians have an equal head-to-head record to Portugal but an inferior record against Denmark. All three teams have and equal goal difference of +4 but their rivals have both scored a goal more. Depending on how results pan out, this group could be decided with a calculator.

In their most recent qualifier at home to Portugal, Albania were beaten by an solitary Miguel Veloso goal two minutes into injury time. That was their first defeat during the campaign so far.

Serbia down and out

Qualification has long been out of the reach of Serbia and there is little left for Radovan Ćurčić’s side to play for except for pride.

The first game between these two teams had to be abandoned after trouble broke out between fans, players and officials on both sides. Flares were thrown by Serbian fans and a drone carrying a Greater Albanian flag was flown over the pitch. The countries have had a long-running political disagreement regarding the disputed territory of Kosova. Many observers were surprised that the teams were not kept apart during the group stages as had been done with other nations in dispute such as Spain and Gibraltar.

Following an appeal process, Serbia were eventually docked three points and Albanian were awarded a 3-0 victory.

In their last match, the Serbians secured their first win of the campaign with a 2-0 victory over Armenia.

Recent form (Euro Qualifying)

Albania: LDWWD

Serbia: LLWLW

Betting odds and tips

Albania’s only defeat in qualifying so far came courtesy of a late goal in the game against group leaders Portugal. They will be favourites to overcome a Serbian team that has little left to play for. You can back the home win at 15/8 with Bet365.

Published on: 07/10/2015

Any odds displayed within this preview were correct at the time of publishing (07/10/2015 16:34:32) but are subject to change.