Croatia vs Albania: Preview, Lineups and Predictions

Croatia vs Albania EURO 2024
Croatia vs Albania EURO 2024

Scoring after just 23 seconds against Italy gave Albania the perfect start to their Euro 2024 campaign. The Kuqezinjtë could not hold on to their lead, though, and ended up falling to a 2-1 defeat. Croatia meanwhile suffered a 3-0 loss at the hands of Spain. Although a concerning-looking scoreline, Croatia was unlucky in not grabbing a goal or two of their own.

With both nations suffering defeat in their opening Group B games, Wednesday’s clash in Hamburg takes on greater importance. If one team can prevail here, they will stand a good chance of making it out of the so-called ‘Group of Death’ and into the knockout stages. Albania has never managed this before, although this is only their second European Championship finals appearance.

  • Location: Hamburg
  • Stadium: Volksparkstadion
  • Date: 19 June 2024
  • Kick-off Time: 15:00 CEST (14:00 BST)
  • Referee: François Letexier (FRA)
  • VAR: Willy Delajod (FRA)

Croatia Team News

Croatia national football team
Source: BTA

Speaking to the press after the defeat to Spain, Croatia boss Zlatko Dalić stated that he would change some elements. Whether he means a tactical or personnel change is unclear, but Dalić does have a talented and fully fit squad to turn to if the latter.

Croatia began the tournament with a clean bill of health and didn’t pick up any injuries during the Spain clash. Although key players Mateo Kovačić and Luka Modrić were withdrawn after 65 minutes, this was simply to give them a rest from what Dalić believed to be a lost cause.

Albania Team News

Nedim Bajrami (Albania)
Source: BTA

Albania manager Sylvinho has no injuries or suspensions to worry about ahead of this match. All 26 players were available for selection for the Italy game, and this remains the case for their second test of the tournament. The Brazilian probably sees little reason to make any drastic changes as his men did themselves proud in Dortmund. If any changes are to occur, though, Sivasspor’s Rey Manaj could replace Armando Broja in the lone striker role as he searches for his ninth Albania goal. Alternatively, Sparta Prague’s Qazim Laçi could come in for Taulant Seferi for a more defensive approach.

Croatia vs Albania H2H Record and Key Numbers

As this is the first-ever meeting between these two nations in any competition, there is no head-to-head record to speak of.

We can, however, compare the respective forms of both teams coming into this match. For Albania, even with Saturday’s defeat to Italy, they have still only lost three of their last 13 matches. This represents quite the turnaround, as immediately before this run, the Kuqezinjtë had recorded just one win from 12 attempts. This goes to show what a terrific job Svlyinho has done in what is only his third management job.

Croatia also boasts a good form book despite their loss to Spain. Coming into Euro 2024, they had won six games in a row (one on penalties), including an impressive 2-1 win over Portugal in their final warm-up match.

Possible Lineups

  • Croatia (4-3-3): Livaković – Stanišić, Šutalo, Pongračić, Gvardiol – Modrić, Brozović, Kovačić – Majer, Budimir, Kramarić
  • Albania (4-2-3-1): Strakosha – Hysaj, Djimsiti, Ajeti, Mitaj – Ramadani, Asllani – Asani, Bajrami, Seferi – Broja

Where to Watch Croatia vs Albania Euro 2024 – TV and Online Live Streaming

Albania’s TV Klan will be showing this game live, as will Croatia’s HRT. In the UK the game will be accessible on ITV 1 and STV (in Scotland).

My Prediction

We are set up for a tight match in Hamburg that is unlikely to be separated by more than a goal. If any team can find a winner, though, it looks more likely to be Croatia. They did show defensive frailties against Spain, but going forward, they had lots to offer and were very unlucky not to score. Albania is a solid unit but lacks the individual stars that can make a big difference in a game like this. With Croatia also enjoying much more strength in depth, there is reason to believe they can grind out a 2-1 win.

For more Croatia vs Albania predictions check out the page of the match.

Kristiyan Kyulyunkov
Kristiyan KyulyunkovKristiyan Kyulyunkov specializes in bookmakers’ analyses. He has years of experience betting online and always keeps an eye on the different operators. His tasks in Nostrabet include writing, editing and publishing expert reviews.

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