Our match prediction:
Albania have yet to pick up a point at the European Championship finals, but they were on the verge of sharing the spoils with hosts France at Stade Velodrome. However, Giovanni De Biasi’s men conceded two late goals in their second group game and, as a result, they have slim chances of qualifying for the knockout stages. Romania, on the other hand, played out a 1-1 draw with Switzerland on Wednesday and they need a big win over Albania if they are to advance to the last 16. Anghel Iordanescu’s men have been producing fine performances at the Euro 2016 finals so far and we predict that they will pick up all three points from Sunday’s football game. The two teams met for the tenth time ever on the international stage and you should bear in mind that Albania are after their first ever win over Romania.
Highligted Player (Pantilimon):
Born in Bacau on 1st February 1987, Costel Fane Pantilimon became famous as the tallest Premier League footballer at six foot, eight inches. The towering shot-stopper made a name for himself at Politehnica Timisoara, where he spent ten years, albeit only making 93 league outings. In 2011, he signed for Manchester City to act as an understudy to England number one Joe Hart, but eventually grew frustrated by the lack of first team football after featuring in just seven Premier League fixtures during the four years at Etihad Stadium. Pantilimon was able to kick-start his career at Sunderland, becoming their first choice goalkeeper, but he ultimately lost his place in the side and decided to join Watford in the summer of 2015. The Hornets keeper has been a member of the Romania national team since 2008 and he amassed over 20 appearances for Tricolorii despite never quite being able to establish himself as an undisputed starter.
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.