Follow Playmaker on Twitter
      bet365
      Sylvinho's men have landed in the 'Group of Death'

      Group B preview: Albania

      2024/06/08 15:10
      E5

      Despite an impressive qualifying campaign, Albania head into UEFA Euro 2024 being generally overlooked and dismissed as they enter the so-called ‘group of death’ alongside Spain, Italy and Croatia.

      However, with a strong spine that has players of genuine pedigree, such as Berat Djimsiti, Elseid Hysaj and Armando Broja, ‘The Red and Blacks’ will be confident of springing a surprise or two under the management of former Manchester City defender Sylvinho, assisted by his former teammate Pablo Zabaleta.

      Keep an eye out for Playmaker's definitive guide to the Euros, complete with profiles on all 24 nations competing, in the latest issue of 'The Mighty Delta'


      Star man

      When you think of Albania, Broja usually comes to mind, but following Atalanta's outstanding win over Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League final, Berat Djimsiti has finally gained the respect he deserves.

      Captain of club and country, Djimsiti is bang in form and his influence on the national team is underlined by the fact that Albania's only loss in qualifying happened to be the only game in which he didn't play.


      Albania's Euro 2024 squad

      PositionNameTeam
      Goalkeeper
      Italy
      Cittadella
      Goalkeeper
      England
      Brentford
      Goalkeeper
      Italy
      Empoli
      Defender
      Spain
      Rayo Vallecano
      Defender
      Romania
      Voluntari
      Defender
      Romania
      CFR Cluj
      Defender
      Portugal
      FC Famalicão
      Defender
      Italy
      Empoli
      Defender
      Italy
      Atalanta
      Defender
      Italy
      Lazio
      Defender
      Russian Federation
      Lokomotiv
      Defender
      Italy
      Sassuolo
      Midfielder
      Italy
      Lecce
      Midfielder
      Germany
      Darmstadt 98
      Midfielder
      Czech Rep.
      Sparta Praha
      Midfielder
      Italy
      Lecce
      Midfielder
      Switzerland
      Grasshoppers
      Midfielder
      Italy
      Internazionale
      Midfielder
      Italy
      Sassuolo
      Forward
      Turkey
      Sivasspor
      Forward
      South Korea
      Gwangju
      Forward
      UAE
      Baniyas
      Forward
      Turkey
      Besiktas
      Forward
      Croatia
      Dinamo Zagreb
      Forward
      England
      Fulham
      Forward
      Russian Federation
      Rubin Kazan
      [G=Games, M=Minutes, GS=Goals Scored, YC=Yellow cards, 2Y=Double Yellows, RC=Red cards]


      Young gun

      Still a complete unknown to most fans of Europe football, Mario Mitaj is a young left-back who moved from AEK Athens to Lokomotiv Moscow for €3 million as a teenager.

      Once a world-class left-sided defender himself, Sylvinho saw Mitaj's potential straight away and he has played every minute for Albania over the past year. Likely to be on the radar of big clubs across Europe come the end of the tournament.


      @Getty /

      Wildcard

      Armando Broja is recognisable as one of Albania's best known exports and is widely considered to be their best attacking player.

      That said, the Chelsea forward didn't play a single game in the qualifiers due to a serious injury and manager Sylvinho now needs to carefully integrate Broja into his tactics.

      A matchwinner on his day, Broja allies quality with unpredictabilty and his return will only sharpen Albania's attacking options.


      Opinion

      We may have been in Pot 2, but Albania somehow landed in the 'Group of Death'!

      Although our chances of progressing to the knockout stages are slim, the fact nobody expects us to do anything could make us dangerous.

      The Balkan duel with Croatia could well be decisive to both team's chances and the fact the Albanians view the Croatians as role models as well as rivals will make that a fascinating tussle. 

      I don't expect to reach the round of 16, but we should be competitive and fans of 'The Red and Black' will create a great atmosphere.


      Preferred formation: 4-3-3



      Comments

      Would you like to comment? Just register!!
      motivo:
      2024-06-08 17h06m by ocollinsworth
      With Djimsiti leading the defense, Albania can definitely hold their own against the heavyweights in Group F. Let&
      NL
      2024-06-08 16h59m by nlawson12
      His leadership and defensive prowess will be crucial for Albania in the upcoming Euro 2024 tournament. With Hysaj and Zabaleta by his side, they will form a solid defensive unit that can surprise even the toughest opponents. Don't underestimate Albania - they are a resilient team with top talents.
      AW
      2024-06-08 16h27m by awalkerson7
      His leadership and defensive prowess will be crucial for Albania in the tough group they have been drawn into. With Hysaj and Zabaleta as assistants, this team has what it takes to make a real impact at Euro 2024. Can&
      2024-06-08 15h56m by gkingsley
      The centre-back was immense throughout the tournament and will undoubtedly be a key player for Albania at Euro 2024.

      As an avid football fan, I have to say I'm disappointed to see Albania being overlooked yet again. They may be in the so-called 'group of death', but with players like Djimsiti, Hysaj and Broja in their ranks, they have a chance to prove the doubters wrong. Excited to see what Sylvinho and Zabaleta can
      2024-06-08 15h47m by edavidson
      Despite being part of the best defence in Serie A for the past few seasons, the 28-year-old centre-back is often overlooked in favour of his more high-profile teammates. However, his performances have been consistently solid and he will undoubtedly be a key player for Albania in Euro 2024.

      As a football fan, it's disheartening to see Albania being underestimated and dismissed in the so-called group of death. But with a strong spine and talented players like Djimsiti and Broja
      Related items
      Team
      Competition

      RECENT POSTS

      banderson1976 20-06-2024, 00:10
      NL
      nlawson12 20-06-2024, 00:00
      gkingsley 19-06-2024, 23:40
      HT
      hturnerford 19-06-2024, 23:34
      sjacksons_9_2_1 19-06-2024, 23:06
      LH
      lhalliday_bart 19-06-2024, 21:33
      NL
      nlawson12 19-06-2024, 21:24
      banderson1976 19-06-2024, 21:17
      A_
      a_12_shawcross 19-06-2024, 20:40
      eyoungs8 19-06-2024, 20:38
      NL
      nlawson12 19-06-2024, 20:24
      jgibsonson 19-06-2024, 20:06
      DN
      dnelsons 19-06-2024, 19:48
      AW
      awalkerson7 19-06-2024, 19:43
      SP
      sparkerfield 19-06-2024, 19:41
      OM
      omitchellsonjones 19-06-2024, 19:24