Our prediction for this Nations League match:
Albania will be aiming to keep their promotion hopes alive when they welcome Kazakhstan at Air Albania Stadium in Tirana in round 5. Midfielder Qazim Laci is banned for the match, but, no doubt, there is enough quality in Reja Edoardo’s team to beat Kazakhstan at home ground. The Black Eagles have been impressive at the back in the Nations League this season, and they are likely to rely on their rock-solid defence in their penultimate group game.
The Kazakhs, on the other hand, failed to find the net in the previous two group matches, and we do not believe that they are capable of spoiling Albania’s party in Tirana. In their last meeting in Albania the Black Eagles defeated the former Soviet Republic, which is yet another reason why home win should be considered. Sturm Graz attacker Bekim Balaj will be the man to keep an eye on in the home team.
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 (Kazakhstan):
Kazakhstan national team played their first international match on June 1, 1992 against Turkmenistan, with the team beating the Emeralds 1-0. The former Soviet republic have been competing on the international stage since 1991, when the country declared independence.
Kazakhstan have yet to book their place at major tournaments, but they have not been serving as a cannon fodder for top European national teams. The Kazakhs were part of Asian Football Confederation before joining UEFA in 2002. However, they could not enter UEFA Euro 2004 qualification as the draw had been made earlier. Kazakhstan national football team recorded their biggest win over Pakistan in June, 1997 and they suffered their biggest defeat in 2005, with the team losing to Turkey 6-0.
Kazakhstan wear sky-blue shirts and sky-blue shorts when playing at home, while their away colour is yellow. Astana Arena is considered Kazakhstan national football team’s home ground and the capacity of the stadium is 30.244. The venue was opened in July, 2009.