England v Albania: World Cup in sight for Three Lions
Preview and odds for Friday’s World Cup qualifier
England welcome Albania to Wembley looking for a win that would put them on the verge of sealing a place at the 2022 World Cup.
The Three Lions have seen their lead at the top of Group I cut to three points after two 1-1 draws in their last three games, but they remain favourites to reach Qatar.
Friday’s match kicks off at 7.45pm and is live on ITV as we highlight some possible England v Albania betting tips.
England v Albania match odds
Gareth Southgate’s side were coasting towards qualification until their progress was checked by Poland and Hungary.
Damian Szymanski headed in a last-gasp equaliser to secure Poland a 1-1 draw in Warsaw and, after a 5-0 hammering of Andorra, John Stones’ leveller ensured England took a point at home to Hungary.
Those two stalemates allowed Poland to move within a win of England, while Albania are five points behind in third after a promising campaign.
Edoardo Reja’s side have lost three games out of eight so far, winning five, with defeats coming against the three strongest sides in the group on paper in England, Hungary and Poland.
Harry Kane and Mason Mount struck to secure a 2-0 victory and the same scoreline at Wembley can be backed at 19/5 in England v Albania betting tips.
England have scored inside 20 minutes in three of their four home games in this campaign and another early goal could be on the cards, with 4/1 available for the deadlock to be broken between minutes 11-20.
Southgate’s team are expected to dominate and it’s 11/5 for them to win both halves, score over 2.5 goals and keep a clean sheet.
England v Albania head-to-head
The Three Lions have played Albania three times in the last 20 years, winning all three with seven goals scored and only one conceded.
The last two have ended 2-0, including in 2001 when Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler struck at St James’ Park.
Albania’s recent results in the group suggest they are more difficult to beat so less than 2.5 goals at 6/5 could be a good shout for England v Albania betting tips.
England v Albania key battles
Armando Broja has enjoyed a breakthrough over the last few months for both club and country after joining Southampton from Chelsea.
The striker has netted four times for Saints this term and three in his last four qualifiers for Albania, meaning he is one for the England defence to watch.
In contrast, England’s forward line have had it tough at club level recently, with Kane failing to score regularly and Sterling struggling for game time, but both of them will be determined to spark their seasons into life.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication