Both nations have not qualified for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, with the hosts managing to secure only a third-place finish in Group I of the UEFA qualifiers, while Italy finished second in Group C to earn a spot in the playoffs, where they suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat against North Macedonia.
Albania will host reigning European champions Italy in an international friendly at Air Albania Stadium on Wednesday night. Both nations have not qualified for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, with the hosts managing to secure only a third-place finish in Group I of the UEFA qualifiers, with 18 points, two points adrift of second-placed Poland, who went through to the playoffs and thereby to the finals. Italy, meanwhile, who had won the global event four times, finished second in Group C to earn a spot in the playoffs, where they suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat against North Macedonia. Meanwhile, the two nations were involved in Nations League fixtures in September, with the Azzurri beating Hungary 2-0, while Albania were held to a 1-1 draw against Iceland. Albania are heading into the match on the back of a narrow 1-0 defeat to World Cup hosts Qatar in a friendly last week.
— Italy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@Azzurri_En) November 15, 2022
Italy are hoping to quickly forget their failure to qualify for the World Cup and move on with their revival. Mancini’s side, who had defeated England to lift the UEFA Euro 2020 title, managed to collect 16 points from 10 World Cup qualifying games, two points adrift of group winners Switzerland. And then, the Azzurri surprisingly lost the semi-finals of the playoff against Macedonia courtesy of Aleksandar Tajikovski’s 92nd minute winner. Since then, Mancini’s side have won four of their next eight games, while losing two of them. Last time out against Hungary on September 27, Azzurri netted twice without reply courtesy of strikes from Giacomo Raspadori and Federico dimarco. The result helped Italy to secure top spot in League A Group 3 and secure a spot in the semi-finals of the Nations League.
Albania, on the other hand, are preparing for the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers , where they are drawn in Group E alongside Czech Republic, Faroe Islands, Moldova and Poland. The Eagles will take part in one more friendly against Armenia next week before playing Poland in the EURO24 qualifiers in March. Meanwhile the Eagles are winless in their last nine games. Their recent outing against Qatar ended in a 1-0 defeat courtesy of Almoez Ali’s 37th-minute strike.
Albania probable starting lineup: Berisha, Gurishta, Ismajli, Lenjani, Hysaj, Ramadani, Abrashi, Asllani, Bare, Uzuni, Broja
Italy probable starting lineup: Meret, Scalvini, Bonucci, Bastoni, Di Lorenzo, Verratti, Barella, Dimarco, Politano, Raspadori, Grifo
|Saudi Arabia||1-1 (D)|
|Last 3 match results|
|Albania 0-1 Italy|
|Italy 2-0 Albania|
|Italy 1-0 Albania|
The international friendly match between Albania and Italy will take place at air Albania Stadium on Thursday at 1:15 am IST.
|Albania vs Italy||Key details|
|Date||November 16 (Albania)|
|Venue||Air Albania Stadium|
|Kickoff time in Albania||8:45 pm (Wednesday)|
|Kickoff time in Italy||9:45 pm (Wednesday)|
For the Football fans in India, live telecast of the match will be available on Sony Sport Network and they can live stream via Jio TV. Meanwhile, those in Italy can catch the live action RaiPlay and RAI ; and RTSH network in Albania.