EURO 2024 PREVIEW | Italy v Albania

Italy are set to commence their title defence against Albania tonight at the Signal Iduna Park in Matchday 1 of EURO 2024. 

After lifting the trophy at the Wembley Stadium three years back, Italy have the chance to win back-to-back Euros and they could become the second team ever to achieve the feat following Spain’s triumph in 2008 and 2012. 

The Azzurri arrive in Germany on the back of a six-game unbeaten run. However, the fans are in a mixed mood as their nation failed to qualify for the World Cup and only scraped through in the Euros from the qualification round. Losing manager Roberto Mancini was a huge dent for the Italian team but Scudetto-winning coach Luciano Spalletti has what it takes to steer this team to yet another European success. 

Italy have not conceded a goal in the two friendlies played on the buildup of this tournament and the defence looks solid with the likes of Federico Dimarco, Alessandro Bastoni and Riccardo Calafiori guarding the goal. Davide Frattesi’s winner against Bosnia & Herzegovina was the only goal scored by La Nazionale during the friendlies and Spalletti will hope that his attacking department does not have a bad day tonight. 

The Azzurri must win this game tonight to add momentum to their campaign as they have tougher opponents like Spain and Croatia coming up next. 

Meanwhile, Albania the odd side has found its way into this year’s possible Group of Death. However, they topped their group in the qualification round after losing the first match against Poland. 

Nine players from this Albanian side play in the Serie A and coach Sylvinho hopes to sync the knowledge of these players to exploit Italy’s weaknesses. The Eagles are the clear underdogs tonight and in the next few games as they will hope to avoid an early exit from Germany. 

An upset might be on the cards tonight and who knows, Albania could become the dark horse of this tournament. 

Results from their last five matches across all competitions





Team News

Luciano Spalletti is set to go with Gianluigi Donnarumma in goal. Davide Frattesi, Nicolo Fagioli and Nicolo Barella are expected to overcome muscular issues. 

Roberto Mancini’s call-up of Mateo Retegui last March caused some stir in the Italian side but now he is direct competitor to Gianluca Scamacca’s starting place up front. 

As for Albania, Atalanta defender Berat Djimsiti will captain the side. Kristjan Asllani, Nedim Bajrami and Marash Kumbulla are set to start the match.

Armando Broja is expected to start the attack. 

Predicted XIs

Italy (4-2-3-1): Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Calafiori, Bastoni, Dimarco; Jorginho, Barella; Frattesi, Pellegrini, Chiesa; Scamacca.

Albania (4-2-3-1): E. Berisha; Hysaj, Ismajli, Djimsiti, Mitaj; Asllani, Ramadani; Asani, Bajrami, Seferi; Broja.


Trambak Bhattacherjee | GIFN

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