England got their campaign off to a successful start against San Marino on Thursday, while Albania also picked up three points by beating Andorra.
Albania will aim to pull off a major upset on Sunday, but it is likely to be business as usual for Gareth Southgate’s men.
Albania vs England Head-to-Head
Albania’s win over Andorra on Wednesday was their fourth in a row as they previously defeated Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kosovo.
However, their win over Andorra wasn’t as convincing as they’d have hoped. They only had four shots on target during the match.
England, meanwhile, walked over San Marino – who are ranked as FIFA’s worst side – coming out 5-0 winners.
Gareth Southgate’s side will be heavily favored to repeat the feat against Albania, with their big test coming next week against Poland.
You’ve got to go back to 2001 to find the last time these sides faced off – England won both games in the qualification campaign for the 2002 World Cup.
Interestingly, there was some talk of the match being canceled due to policing concerns in Albania, but they have now been resolved.
Albania form guide: D-W-W-W-W
England form guide: L-W-L-W-W
Albania vs England Team News
Albania reportedly did not pick up any injuries during the match with Andorra, and should come into their match with England at full strength.
Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka missed out on the San Marino game with injuries. It’s likely that Saka will miss this one too, while Rashford remains a doubt.
England are also likely to revert to a 3-4-3 formation for this game and reintroduce some of their key players who were rested against San Marino.
Injured: Bukayo Saka
Doubtful: Marcus Rashford
Albania vs England Predicted XI
Albania predicted XI (3-5-2): Etrit Berisha, Ardian Ismajli, Marash Kumbulla, Berat Djimsiti, Elesid Hysaj, Keidi Bare, Klaus Gjasula, Ledian Memushaj, Ermir Lenjani, Rey Manaj, Sokol Cikalleshi
England predicted XI (3-4-3): Nick Pope, Kyle Walker, Harry Maguire, John Stones, Reece James, Declan Rice, Mason Mount, Luke Shaw, Phil Foden, Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling
Albania vs England Prediction
This should be a trickier test for England, but it should still be one that they pass.
Southgate’s side are a far more talented team than their Albanian counterparts, and should have enough firepower for a comfortable win.
Whether or not the 3-4-3 system suits England is still in question, but it should be enough to get them through this game.
Prediction: Albania 0-2 England