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Croatia vs Albania Euro 2024 prediction: Confirmed starting lineups

Croatia v Albania predictions

The second round of Euro 2024 group stage fixtures gets underway with Croatia and Albania both looking to win their first match and we’ve got all the information on their lineups here.

Croatia vs Albania Latest Prediction

Both Croatia and Albania had tricky opening matches, losing to Spain and Italy respectively, meaning this is an opportunity to make ground on either (or both) of their group-stage rivals.

Croatia were humbled in their opening clash with Spain, losing 3-0 with all three goals coming in the first half. They came close to pulling a goal back when Josko Gvardiol drilled a shot which beat Unai Simon, but also eluded Ante Budimir, who tried to divert it in as it flew wide of the far post. Croatia’s disappointing day worsened when Bruno Petkovic saw his late penalty saved by Simon with the eventual follow up ruled by for encroachment.

Albania, meanwhile, made history when scoring the fastest goal in European Championship history. Nedim Bajrami capitalised on a poor throw-in from Federico Dimarco to smash a strike into the top right corner after just 23 seconds. But, Albania’s jubilation in Dortmund was short-lived. They sat back but failed to stymie the Italians, who were 2-1 up by the 16th minute.

Croatia and Albania meet in the first game of the second round of Euro 2024 group stage fixtures on June 19 at the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg.

Albania have already matched their goalscoring tally from Euro 2020, when they scored one goal in their three group-stage games. Expectations may be low for Albania to double their tally, but if they are to do so, Bajrami will be key. Not solely for the fact that he scored Albania’s fast goal against Italy, but because of the run it continued. Bajrami has now either scored or assisted in each of his last three appearances for Albania, scoring netting two goals and providing two assists.

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Croatia Starting Lineup

We weren’t expecting any surprises when it comes to Croatia’s team, but there have been numerous changes to the Croatian lineup for the game against Albania.

The midfield remains the same but at the back, but Zlatko Dalic has moved Josko Gvardiol in to the centre of defence, with Ivan Perisic coming in at left back. Josip Sutalo will partner Gvardiol in the heart of the defence. .

Up front, things are interesting, with Ante Budimir dropped for Bruno Petkovic. Andrej Kramaric and Lovro Mayer will play on either flank.

Albania Starting Lineup

Qazim Laçi and Rey Manaj start the game, which means Taulant Seferi and Armando Broja drop down to the bench.

Albania’s defence is a lot more certain. Berat Djimsiti and Ajeti play in the central areas, Elseid Hysaj and Mario Mitaj flanking them, while Thomas Strakosha retains his place in goal.

Regardless of the formation, Ylber Ramadani and Kristian Asllani seem to be the shoo-ins in the centre of the park, whilst Bajrami and Asani will occupy the wide areas.

Croatia vs Albania Head to Head

This will be the first-ever meeting between these two nations.

How to watch Croatia vs Albania live

The second round of Group B begins as Croatia take on Albania, with the game set to be broadcast live on ITV1 or STV, as well as online via ITVX and the STV Player.

Every game at Euro 2024 will be shown live on either BBC or ITV, with the two platforms sharing the broadcast rights.