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Match Preview: Albania vs Israel



As a consequence of Russia’s exclusion, this will be just Albania’s second UEFA Nations League (UNL) game in League B following their promotion from League C during the last edition. They started this cycle with a solid 1-1 draw away to Iceland on Monday night which extended their unbeaten record in the competition to five (W2, D3).

However, they are now winless in all three of their matches in 2022 so far (D2, L1), which may be a growing concern for manager Edoardo Reja. A robust first-half defensive showing could be key if Albania are to get back on track here though, as their attack tends to come alive later in the game and has scored six of their previous seven goals at home after half-time.

Israel should come into this clash the fresher of the two sides as their last fixture came at the beginning of the month. Like Albania that also ended in a draw against Iceland, keeping this group wide open, although confidence in the Israel camp isn’t likely to be high as they’ve managed just one win across their last five matches (D2, L2).

Having also conceded 2+ goals during every game in that run, the visitors’ most obvious problem is their defence. Perhaps we should expect goals here then, as manager Alon Hazan will likely build around an Israeli attack which has found the back of the net twice or more themselves in six of their last seven matches.

Key battle: Albania goalkeeper Etrit Berisha has managed just one clean sheet across his last six appearances for club and country. He’ll be facing Shon Weissman who struck for Israel last time out, to make it five goals in his last five outings in all competitions – four of which came after half-time!

Hot stat: Only one side scored in each of the last four H2Hs. Three of which saw the eventual winner lead by the 25th minute!

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