Our prediction for this Nations League match:
Kazakhstan and Albania go head to head at Almaty Ortalyk Stadion in the Nations League round 3. The Kazakhs aim to make amends for a 2-1 loss to Belarus, and a win over Albania will see them cement top position in Group 4. Baktiyor Zaynudtinov has overcome his injury, and the 22-year-old CSKA Moscow midfielder is widely expected to return to the starting XI. The Albanians, on the other hand, will be without suspended defender Elseid Hysaj, who was sent off in the 1-0 defeat to Lithuania.
Edoardo Reja’s men were anything but impressive in their second group game; therefore, we do not believe that away win should be considered. A close encounter is on the cards in Almaty, and we believe that punters from all four corners of the world can find value in betting on draw. This will be the first meeting between the two national teams since September 2005 when Albania defeated Kazakhstan 2-1 in the World Cup qualifier.
Highlighted Player (Dmitri Shomko):
Born in Ekibastuz, Kazakhstan on March 19, 1990 Dmitri Andreievich Shomko is a defender who plays for Astana. Shomko is a product of his home-town club Ekibastuzets, but he started his senior career at Batyr Ekibastuz.
As expected, the 182-cm tall footballer returned to his boyhood club and it has to be noted that he made nine appearances in the league for Ekibastuzets. Dmitri Shomko then moved to Irtysh Pavlodar and he played for the Kazak club from 2009 to 2014. In 2011 he was sent on loan to Astana and three years later he signed a permanent deal with the Blue and Yellows. His main position is left-back, but he is used as a left midfielder as well.
Over the years Shomko has established himself as a first-team regular at Kazakhstan national football team and he made his debut for the Hawks on February 2, 2011 in a 1-1 draw with Belarus. Shomko came as a substitute for Nurgaliev in the 85th minute of the match. He has 17 caps for the U21 team as well.
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.