Albania v Wales Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
November 18, 2018
Elbasan Arena - International Friendly
Albania host Wales in a friendly on Tuesday, looking to recover from relegation in the Nations League, following a loss to Scotland. Ryan Giggs' side may be safe in Group B, but will be keen to regain some pride after a home defeat to Denmark.
Wales have never lost to Albania, with their two meetings in the 1990s ending in a home win and an away draw. Current manager, Ryan Giggs, got one goal in the 2-0 win back in '94, with the other scored by former boss Chris Coleman.
Christian Panucci will be without captain Mergim Mavraj, after the centre-back was sent off for head butting Ryan Christie. This should see Kastriot Dermaku start in defence, with the manager unlikely to make many further changes from the side that lost at the weekend.
Man City's Rabbi Matondo has been called up for Tuesday's game, with James Chester and Paul Dummet pulling out due to injuries suffered on Friday. The 18-year-old's first debut will coincide with Chris Gunter's record breaking 93rd cap for the international side.
Albania v Wales Preview and Prediction
Wales' two returning superstars were unable to earn promotion to the top tier of the Nations League on Friday, with Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey's side losing to Denmark. However, whilst disappointing, the result was far from disastrous for Giggs' first competition as a manager, and showed a lot of promise for the future.
Against Albania, who likewise saw a poor end to their inaugural Nations League campaign this weekend, Giggs will be able to further develop a team that is attack minded an full of young-players. The new manager may be tempted to field his attacking-midifield trio of David Brooks, Tyler Roberts and Tom Lawrence yet again, potentially handing a start at centre-back to Chelsea's Ethan Ampadu. With nothing to play for, the friendly will give the former Manchester United winger a chance to further develop his squad's identity, and establish a better idea of his blueprint for the future.
The home side are in a similar situation, with former Italian international Christian Panucci taking charge in July 2017. The manager may not have a lot of experience, but has been keen to bring in new blood, with Ardian Ismajli receiving his debut against Scotland. Following his experience as a centre-back, Panucci has attempted to install a strong defensive foundation in his side, building on Serie A talents Borat Djimsiti and Elseid Hysaj.
However, his side have struggled in the last few months , securing just three points in their Nations League campaign, and with just one win in their last eight games. As much as the players might complain, their recent defeat to Scotland was entirely of their own making, with the side unnecessarily falling to pieces following Mavraj's red card.
If Panucci is to engineer a turn around, he will have to do so at home, and against sides such as Wales. For Giggs, Tuesday presents a similar opportunity, with the side in need of a confidence boost.
Gareth Bale to score anytime at 10/3
The Welsh talisman may not have got the result he wanted but hit the target late on against Denmark and was a threat throughout.
Wales to win and both teams to score at 9/2
Albania have struggled to keep teams out of late and face an attacking Welsh side.