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Italy vs Albania preview, team news, tickets and prediction

Italy is set to kick off its UEFA European Championship campaign against Group B underdog Albania on Saturday, June 15, 2024, at the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund. Italy have somewhat suffered from inconsistency this year but their form in recent times has been quite decent as the Azzurri have recorded three wins from their last five matches, losing one and drawing another. Albania, on the other hand have been in fine form as they are currently unbeaten in their last eight games, recording an impressive 5 wins and 3 draws.

Italy’s quest for qualification kicked off to the worst start possible after their home loss against the Three Lions of England in a game that ended 2-1. Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice put England in front thirteen minutes into the match after pouncing on a blocked Harry Kane shot to drive in a bouncing volley from close range. Kane eventually got his goal in the 44th minute after a lengthy VAR check saw Di Lorenzo reach penalized for handling the ball in the box, a plan which saw Harry Kane become England’s all-time leading scorer, surpassing Wayne Rooney‘s 53-goal record. Debutant Rategui pulled one back for the Azzurri in the 56th minute but it proved to be a consolation goal.

The Azzurri bounced back from the disappointing defeats against England with a 2-0 win over Malta in their second qualifying match with Rategui getting himself on the scoresheet again after he put Italy ahead fifteen minutes in before Matteo Pessina added Italy’s double just eight later. Italy found its groove mid-way into the qualifying campaign with a 1-1 draw against North Macedonia, followed by further wins against Ukraine and Malta, respectively. The Azzurri’s brief unbeaten run was halted when they suffered yet another defeat against the Three Lions of England. Despite going ahead in the 15th minute when Gianluca Scamacca’s run into the box was picked out by Di Lorenzo with the Atalanta forward rifling in his first goal for Italy into the roof of the net, England rallied to complete a comeback as Harry Kane equalized from the penalty spot after a Di Lorenzo foul on Jude Bellingham was penalized after a lengthy VAR inspection. Further goals from Marcus Rashford and Harry Kane in the 57th and 77th minute saw the Italians condemned to a 3-1 defeat.

Italy again bounced back from their defeat against England with a thrilling 5-2 mauling of North Macedonia. A brilliant first-half display saw the Azzurri in cruise control at halftime as they were 3-0 up through Matteo Darmian’s 17th-minute header and Federico Chiesa’s brace in the 41st and 47th minutes respectively. North Macedonia gave the Italians a significant scare in the second half however, as Astanov came off the bench to score twice for them in the 52nd and 74th minutes respectively, setting up a grandstand finish. Still, Italy upped the tempo as Raspadori and El Shaarawy both picked out the bottom-right corners with left-footed finishes late on putting the Azzurri further in front. A draw against Ukraine was all Italy needed to guarantee qualification for the Euro finals and their 0-0 stalemate with Ukraine proved to be enough.

Albania kicked off their qualifying campaign similarly, narrowly losing 1-0 to Poland in their opening qualifying match, with Polish forward Karol Swiderski getting the game’s only goal in the first half. Albania however bounced back from that defeat with a 2-0 win against Moldova before returning to wins with another impressive 3-1 victory over the Faroe Islands. A 1-1 draw against the Czech Republic saw Albania’s winning run come to a halt, but it proved to be a minor setback as they emerged triumphant in the next two qualifying matches that followed, beating Poland 2-0 with first and second-half efforts from Jasir Asani and Mirlind Daku respectively before cruising to a 3-0 victory over Czech Republic in a match that saw Asani get on the scoresheet again before Taulant Seferi’s second-half brace put the game to bed. The Albanians rounded off their qualifying campaign with draws against Moldova and the Faroe Islands, respectively, their resilience throughout the group qualifying campaign proving pivotal to their qualifying campaign success.

Head-to-head statistics show that Italy and Albania have played four matches, with the Azzurri claiming victory in four, scoring seven goals, while the Albanians have scored 1 goal.

Match tickets

This epic encounter is set to take place at the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund. Kick-off is confirmed to be Saturday, June 15, 2024, at 21:00 GMT.

The 81,365-capacity stadium is set to host this epic encounter between Italy and Albania. Getting Italy vs Albania tickets for this match could take a lot of work given the game’s standard. Hence, you are advised to check ticket reselling sites should they be expected to sell out on both nations’ official ticketing websites.

Team news

Line-ups

Italy emerged champions at the 2020 UEFA European Championship and will look to put up a solid title defense when the tournament kicks off in June.

Italy: Donnarumma, Darmian, Gatti, Acerbi, Dimarco, Bonaventura, Jorginho, Barella, Chiesa, Raspadori,  Berardi

Albania hopes they can take their fine form from the qualifying campaign into the Euro finals as they will be looking to give a good account of themselves when the tournament kicks off.

Albania: Strakosha, Balliu, Ismajli, Djimsiti, Mitaj, Bare, Asllani, Bajrami, Asani, Daku, Uzuni

Prediction

The head-to-head statistics show Italy to be the overwhelming favorite in this fixture. Despite the Italians being favored to win, it is a tournament opener and the pendulum could swing either way.

As such, the Albanians could pose a slight threat but the tournament experience of the Azzurri should take them through and help kick-start their campaign on a winning note. 

Italy 3-1 Albania 

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