Our prediction for this Euro 2020 match:
Albania play host to Turkey at their Stadiumi Loro Borici in the opening match of their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign. The Albanians proved their worth in their last game in 2018, with the team beating Wales 1-0 in front of home fans, but they face an uphill task in Friday’s football game against Turkey. Bekim Balaj, who scored the winner against the Dragons, is likely to lead the line for the hosts and he could pose a big threat for the opposition back-line. The Turks, on the other hand, aim to put an end to their four-match winless run in all competitions and we predict that they are going to adopt an attack-minded approach in the opening match of their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign. A man to watch in the away team will be Bundesliga star Hakan Calhanoglu, but, taking everything into account, a low-scoring affair is on the cards in Konya.
Highlighted Player (Elseid Hysaj):
Born on 2nd February 1994, Elseid Hysaj is an Albanian defender who has spent his entire professional career in Italian Serie A and he is predicted a bright future in the game. Empoli scouts spotted his talent while he was playing for Shodra youth sides, and after three years in the youth team, the full-back was promoted to the first team set up.
Hysaj performed really well in his first three years as a first team regular, helping the Azzurri gain promotion to the top fight in the process. One season in Serie A proved enough for the right-sided defender to secure a big club move as he joined Napoli in the summer of 2015 and immediately nailed down a regular starting berth.
Capable of doing dirty defensive work as well as making forward runs, Hysaj is a modern full-back, who is destined for big things. The talented footballer is already a key member of the Albania national team and he will represent the country at the Euro 2016 finals.
Highlighted Team (Turkey):
Present on the international stage since 1923, Turkey only started showing some promise during the 70’s, but they had to wait until the turn of the century to place themselves on the map. While they lost all three fixtures at their first ever European Championship finals in 1996, they fared much better four years later, reaching the last eight in Netherlands and Belgium.
Milli Takim were able to build on that result as they went on to reach the podium at the 2002 World Cup finals in South Korea and Japan, while also finishing third at the 2003 Confederations Cup and making it to the semi-finals at the Euro 2008.
Rustu Receber, Hakan Sukur and Emre Belezoglu were important parts of the country’s most successful generation, but the one including Arda Turan, Selcuk Inan, Burak Yilmaz and Hakan Calhanoglu is threatening to surpass their achievements. As the Turkish Super Lig continues the get stronger, the national team follows, and we should expect some big result from Milli Takim in the near future.