Does the fairytale continue? The fairy tale that has fascinated and impressed the whole football world in recent years. It is up to the Icelanders themselves to once again participate in a major event. We want to take a look back. In 2016, the Northern Europeans for the first time in their history participated in a European Championship, survived the surprise round of the preliminary round and then defeated in a legendary knockout stages, the motherland of football, England. Whoever thought that was enough, was deceived.
Today’s Betting Tips Iceland vs Albania
Only two years later, Iceland became the smallest country ever to compete in a World Cup. In Russia, the nation, with just over 300,000 inhabitants, was eliminated in the group stage, but showed very good performances against teams such as Argentina or later vice-world champions Croatia. These successes meant that the Icelanders had to play in the league of the top teams of the continent in the newly created UEFA Nations League last autumn. Against Switzerland and Belgium, the team was clearly shown with four defeats and 1:13 goals that it had reached its limits.
Now the question arises whether the fairy tale ends slowly but surely or whether coach Erik Hamren can add another chapter in the European Championship qualifier with his troupe. Saturday’s game between Iceland and Albania, where we want to make a prediction, sets the trend. In Group H, World Champion France is a big favorite and leads the group too. Behind them is Turkey, Iceland and Albania for second place, which also entitles them to participate in the main round.
The Turks already have six points in their account after two matchdays and will receive the French later on Saturday night. Iceland and Albania have worse odds and “only” three in the account. The direct duel is therefore about who can hold the connection.
Iceland – Statistics & Current Form
The already mentioned fairy tale of the “Vikings from the North” has three elementary reasons. One can be found in the trainer Lars Lagerbäck, who has done a great job in recent years and built himself a memorial to the sporting successes. Erik Hamren is trying to build on that. The second reason is the quality of the players, who can compete on an international level and are distributed across the continent at well-known clubs under contract.
Iceland currently has a true golden generation. Led by Captain Aron Gunnarson, there are some actors who are known in Germany. There is, for example, Rurik Gislason, who was an important component in the second division SV Sandhausen for their relegation. Even more prominent is attacker and top scorer Alfred Finnbogason, who meets regularly in the upper house for FC Augsburg. The third and probably most important reason is that makes the whole story so special and unique. The mentality of the Northern Europeans and the cohesion in the collective makes the team so strong.
Even though the squad is individually well stocked as mentioned, he can not keep up with the class of many other nations by far. But with fighting, passion and a lot of tactical discipline, the protected of Erik Hamren managed to assert themselves in the concert of the greats. Around the World Cup and the subsequent Nations League then the borders were eventually clear. With only one win from the last 17 international matches, the bare numbers are not exactly what the home side are talking about.
After all, that one victory was a lucky winner on matchday one in Andorra (2: 0) and was very important. The following defeat in France (0: 4) was very clear, but had to be scheduled on the other side. The first important game will take place on Saturday at home in Reykjavik. There is only one threesome for Iceland against Albania, so a tip on the re-participation in the UEFA Euro remains possible. That’s why national coach Hamren will also send his best possible team to the pitch.
Expected formation of Iceland:
↳ Halldorsson – Saevarsson, Ingason, Arnason, Sugurdsson, Magnusson – Bjarnason, Gunnarsson, Gislason, Sigurdsson, Finnbogason
Last matches from Iceland:
⚽️ 25.03.2019 – France vs. Iceland 4: 0 (European Championship Qualification)
⚽️ 22.03.2019 – Andorra Vs. Iceland 0: 2 (European Championship Qualification)
⚽️ 15.01.2019 – Iceland vs. Estonia 0: 0 (Non-FIFA Friendlies)
⚽️ 11.01.2019 – Sweden vs. Iceland 2: 2 (Non-FIFA Friendlies)
⚽️ 19.11.2018 – Qatar vs. Iceland 2: 2 (friendly)
Albania – Statistics & Current Form
Albania wants to return to a European Championship. The association has also acted very consistently with this goal in mind. After the first important match against Turkey was lost on Matchday 2, coach Christian Panucci was dismissed. The Italian was replaced by his compatriot Edoardo Reja. For the 73-year-old ex-professional, who after stations at FC Bologna, SSC Napoli or Lazio Roma last until June 2016 in his home at Atalanta Bergamo under contract, it is the first job as a national coach.
His contract initially runs until the end of the European Championship qualification. Should he prevail, his contract would automatically be extended. Thus, the intentions of the football-loving nation have been clearly made clear. Due to the defeat against Turkey, the pressure on the team on Saturday is already very large. Although the second group match in Andorra was won 3-0, but threatens to lose early contact with the competition, when the guests return home empty-handed on Saturday.
In purely qualitative terms, the squad of Albanians lags a little behind compared to the Icelanders. Most players are in smaller leagues. There is thus a lack of international class. The only German legionnaire is Amir Abrashi from SC Freiburg in the squad. Most recently, the 29-year-old came into the game mostly from the bench, but scored a 3-0 Jörg goal against Andorra in added time. Maybe he could get a chance on Saturday from the start.
Next to him lie the greatest hopes in the offensive on striker Armando Sadiku, who is in Switzerland at FC Lugano under contract. The attacker met both in his last game with the club and with the national team and is in good shape. Otherwise, the clear strength of Raja’s team is the work against the ball. Albania is the tip on the odds for a few goals certainly worth considering, as in games with participation of the guests rarely spectacle is offered. In ten of the last eleven internationals, neither team has scored at least one goal.
Expected formation of Albania:
↳ Berisha – Ajiji, Djimsiti, Ismajli, Hisaj – Grezda, Kace, Basha, Xhaka – Uzuni, Sadiku
Last matches of Albania:
⚽️ 25.03.2019 – Andorra Vs. Albania 0: 3 (European Championship Qualification)
⚽️ 22.03.2019 – Albania Vs. Turkey 0: 2 (European Championship Qualification)
⚽️ 20.11.2018 – Albania Vs. Wales 1: 0 (friendly)
⚽️ 17.11.2018 – Albania Vs. Scotland 0: 4 (Nations League)
⚽️ 14.10.2018 – Israel vs. Albania 2: 0 (Nations League)
Iceland vs Albania Direct Comparison
The direct comparison between Iceland and Albania suggests that the Northern Lights have the better maps. The last two duels from the World Cup qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil were both won by Iceland 2: 1. Even then, one of the scorers Gylfi Sigurdsson, who has a very strong Premier League season with 13 goals, including four from distance, has put down. It is therefore important to keep an eye on him on Saturday. In the overall balance of the two nations Iceland leads just 3: 2. The first international match took place in 1990 and ended 2-0 for the Northern Europeans. Albania then won twice.
Iceland vs Albania Betting Tips and Predictions Explained
When playing between Iceland and Albania a tip is not so easy; Finally, a lot is at stake for both participants. A draw does not really benefit anyone. Therefore, there are arguments why the teams should be offensive. But this is not in the DNA of the guests, where gates are always in short supply.
The bookies know the numbers and the data, so between “Icelandic” and “Albania” the odds for “under goals” are so low that they do not promise any value. In the classic 1X2 selection, the hosts are rightly favored, as they have more quality available and also have an advantage with the fans in the back. The betting odds of Northern Europeans may be a bit of value and are the best bet between Iceland and Albania for a tip.
Key Facts – Iceland vs Albania tips
💭 Both teams can only keep in contact with France and Turkey with a threesome
💭 Iceland have lost five of their last six games at home
💭 The guests are first looked after by Edoardo Reja
💭 During the World Cup qualifiers in 2014, the Northern Europeans won 2-1 against Albania twice
The mission is held with six units in mediocrity. More risk should be avoided as there is a small question mark around the lot. Albania is being looked after by Edoardo Reja after the dismissal of national coach Panucci. To what extent the Italians can influence the style of play and thus the performance of his charges after only a few training days, is questionable. Nevertheless, coach debuts always have to be a bit cautious. All this does not change the favorite position of the “Vikings”. Between Iceland and Albania, the tip on the odds of the home team is and remains to be recommended.
Betting Tip: 1