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Italy vs Albania Euro 2024 prediction, team news & expected XIs: A decisive game for the defending champions

Euro 2024 continues with one of the underdogs, Albania, taking on holders Italy in Group B.

Italy vs Albania Latest Prediction

Euro 2024

ItalyAlbania

Squawka Betting Tip
Italy 3-0 Albania
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There wouldn’t have been many better fixtures for reigning European Champions Italy to start their Euro 2024 campaign than facing Albania.

Italy have been drawn into a tough Group B alongside Spain and Croatia and will be view this fixture as one to get valuable points on the board. Albania enter just their second European Championship after finishing third in Group A in 2016.

Some see Italy as the big footballing nation most likely to disappoint this summer. But while Albania could be a banana skin, we’re predicting the defending champions will pick up a comfortable win and gain a massive advantage regarding qualification from Group B.

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Italy and Albania open their Euro 2024 accounts on June 15 in Dortmund, with both searching for three points to kickstart their campaign. `

Italy finished second in Group C to qualify for Euro 2024, finishing behind the side they beat in the Euro 2020 final, England. They lost both games against The Three Lions in qualifying, whilst two draws with Ukraine left them needing goal difference to finish ahead of Serhiy Rebrov’s side and avoid a playoff. It’s not been the best of spells for Italy since their Euro 2020 triumph, but this is the perfect time to regain their form and attempt to retain their title.

Albania topped Group E to qualify, finishing ahead of the Czech Republic and Poland en route to victory. Their only loss in qualifying came in their first match, against Poland, but an unbeaten remainder, combined with some poor results for the other sides in the group, ensured Albania were automatic qualifiers for the side managed by ex-Arsenal and Man City defender, Sylvinho.

Italy Latest Team News

A poor qualifying campaign, coupled with failing to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, has left question marks over whether Italy can still perform on the biggest stage. Four years is a long time in international football and it’s felt like an even longer period since Italy celebrated at Wembley in 2020.

Defensively, Italy has a reasonable, if unspectacular, backline, and the skills of Gianluigi Donnarumma, in between the sticks, could be pivotal to its success. Midfield stability is abundant for Gli Azzurri with the likes of Nicolo Barella and Jorginho, but there are doubts as to whether they possess the player to unlock opposition defences. The lack of a genuine top-level goalscorer also concerns the reigning European Champions. Federico Chiesa and Gianluca Scamacca — who finished the campaign with Atalanta strongly — will have to step up to address that problem.

Heading into this game, Barella, Fagioli, and Frattesi have all been dealing with thigh issues, but the latter still appears likely to start since he has been training normally with the rest of the squad.

Italy’s success at Euro 2024 could come down to their performance in this opening match. A comfortable win could provide the base, and momentum, they need to gain results against Spain and Croatia, but anything else could derail their campaign before it really gets going.

Albania Latest Team News

There aren’t many household names in the Albania squad, but they shouldn’t be ignored, especially after a very impressive qualifying campaign.

Both Nedim Bajrami and Jasir Asani scored three times in their qualifying campaign but it was a true team effort that got them to their second-ever European Championships, with seven players finding the net in their eight games. Armando Broja might be the name fans of English football are most familiar with; the striker appeared for Southampton, Chelsea and Fulham over the past three years, and his experience at the highest level could be invaluable.

Perhaps most impressively, Albania only conceded four goals in their eight qualifying campaigns. That sturdy defence, led by Lazio defender Elseid Hysaj, might be a major cause of frustration for the other sides in Group B.

The main dilemmas for Albania on matchday one are the selection of the goalkeeper, with Strakosha being a contender, the choice of the centre-back to pair with Gjimsiti in the heart of the defence, and the decision for the left-forward position. Ajeti, with experience at this level, is making a case to start over Ismajli as a centre-back. Hoxha has shown promise in friendly matches in the left-forward position, but Seferi, who made significant contributions in the qualification phase, is expected to start ahead of him.

Italy vs Albania Head to Head

It won’t come as a huge surprise to learn that Italy’s record against Albania is an overwhelmingly positive one, with the Italian side winning all four of their matches against Kuqezinjtë. Albania have only found the net once against Italy, in their last meeting in 2022.

Italy vs Albania H2H
Date Score Ground
16/11/22 3-1 Air Albania Stadium, Tirana
09/10/17 1-0 Loro Borici Stadiumi, Shkoder
24/03/17 2-0 Stadio Renzo Barbera, Palermo
18/11/14 1-0 Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris, Genoa

How to watch Italy vs Albania Live

Group B sees Italy take on Albania at BVB Stadion Dortmund, Dortmund on June 15 and all of the action will be live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer, as well as online on the BBC website. 

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