Our prediction for this Nations League match:
Israel did not kick off their UEFA Nations League campaign in style, with the team suffering a 1-0 loss to Albania in their opener. Israel, though, quickly bounced back from the defeat, with the team defeating Scotland at home on Thursday evening. The Israelis regained a much-needed confidence and they will be looking to stay in the race for top position in Group 1 with a victory over Albania. The Albanians failed to impress in a goalless draw with Jordan in midweek friendly and seeing that they were beaten by Scotland 2-0 in their first away game of the process, we predict that the visitors are going to return home empty-handed. When the two teams met in Elbasan earlier in the process Albania recorded a hard-fought 1-0 win over Israel, but seeing that Christian Panucci’s men are not regarded as good travelers, we are tempted to put our money on the hosts this time out.
Highlighted Player (Tomer Hemed):
Tomer Hemed started his senior career at Maccabi Haifa, with the Israeli attacker making his first-team debut in March, 2007. He came as a substitute in a 2-1 defeat to Bnei Yehuda and two months later he scored his first goal for the club, against Maccabi Herzliya.
On 21 June, 2011, Tomer Hemed signed a three-year contract with Spanish club Mallorca, where he spent three seasons. At the end of the 2013/2014 La Liga campaign, the Israeli striker joined Almeria and it has to be noted that he scored 8 goals in 35 appearances for the Segunda Division outfit. On 24 June, 2015 Hemed signed a three-year contract with Brighton for an undisclosed fee and he impressed in the 2015/2016 Championship campaign, scoring 17 goals for the Seagulls.
Speaking of his international career, Hemed made his Israel debut on 4 June in a 2-1 win over Latvia. Three months later the Brighton striker scored his first goal for the Israeli national team, but he failed help his teammates avoid defeat to Croatia (1-3).
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.