Our match prediction:
Despite failing to impress in the opening match of their Euro 2016 campaign France eventually recorded a 2-1 win over Romania thanks to Payet’s wonder goal in the dying minutes of the game. Les Tricolores managed to pick up all three points from the match and they will be looking to book their place in the Euro 2016 knockout stages with a victory over Albania in their second group game. The Albanians produced a fine performance on their debut at the European Championship finals, but they missed several clear-cut chances to score during the match and that is the main reason why they suffered a 1-0 loss to Switzerland. Seeing that Albania will be without their captain Lorik Cana (suspension) against France, we predict that Didier Deschamps’ troops will pick up all three points from Wednesday’s football game. Olivier Giroud scored against Romania and he is likely to lead the line for les Tricolores against Albania.
Highligted Player (Payet):
Dimitri Payet was born in Saint-Pierre, Reunion on 29 March 1987, but he joined Le Havre’s famous youth academy in 1999 and has since enjoyed a meteoric rise. The attacking midfielder started his professional career at Nantes, but top French clubs soon started casting admiring glances his way and he went on to represent Saint Etienne, Lille and Marseille, becoming one of Ligue 1’s leading footballers. However, it was the move to West Ham that placed Payet on the map as the Frenchman enjoyed a brilliant start to his career in England, making the PFA Player of the Year Shortlist. Some excellent performances in the Premier League persuaded France coach Didier Deschamps to reinstate Payet into his starting line-up and the midfielder paid the coach back with some scintillating displays on international stage. Excellent with the ball at his feet and very dangerous from set pieces, Payet quickly established himself as one of Europe’s top midfielders, with the likes of Barcelona, Arsenal and other top clubs now after his signature.
Highlighted Team (Albania):
The Albanian national football team has represented the country on international stage since 1946, and it is interesting to note that Albania was one of the founding members of UEFA back in 1954. The Eagles have enjoyed very little success in the 20th century, but they managed to show some improvement at the turn of the century and eventually secured their first ever appearance at a major tournament. Albania qualified for the Euro 2016 finals as they came second in their qualifying group behind Portugal, taking 14 points from 8 matches, with Italian coach Gianni De Biasi at the helm. The Eagles have never qualified for the World Cup finals in 11 attempts, winning mere 14 of 94 World Cup qualifiers. Former Lazio defender Lorik Cana has worn the captain’s armband over the last few years and he is Albania’s most capped player, while former Chievo forward Erjon Bogdani still holds the record for most goals for the national team, with 18 strikes in 74 appearances.