Our football match prediction:
Thanks to a thrilling 3-0 win over Israel Albania put an end to their three-game losing run in Group G. The Albanians proved their worth in the triumph over Israel and, no doubt, they regained a much-needed confidence. Christian Panucci’s troops sit in third place in the standings and they are seven points behind the play-offs berth. The Albanians face a must-win situation in Saturday’s football match and we predict that they will fight tooth and nail against Liechtenstein. A man to watch in the home team will be Armando Sadiku, who scored a brace against Israel. The minnows have been serving as a cannon fodder for their rivals in their World Cup qualifying group as they suffered a loss in each of their six group games. Liechtenstein were hammered by Italy (0-5) in their last qualifying match and they are unlikely to spoil Albania’s party at Elbasan Arena.
Highlighted Player (Mergim Mavraj):
Born in Germany to Albanian parents, Mergim Mavraj made two appearances for the Germany Under 21 side before switching his allegiance to Albania and he has since become a key defender for his new national team. The experienced centre back began his professional career at Darmstadt, but his talent was quickly spotted by Bochum scouts and he made a move to the Bundesliga side in 2007. Four years later, he surprisingly opted to join second division side Greuther Furth, but that proved a good career move as he helped the team secure promotion to the Bundesliga before putting in some solid showings in the Germany’s top flight. But, when his side eventually returned to the second division, he moved to FC Koln, where he has been since the summer of 2014. Meanwhile, Mavraj quickly established himself as an important player for the Albanian national team, establishing a good partnership with captain Lorik Cana, and helping the team secure their place at the Euro 2016 finals.
Highlighted Team (Liechtenstein):
Liechtenstein national football team are well known at the Blues-Reds. They wear blue shirts and red shorts when playing in front of home fans, whilst their second colours are red (shirts) and blue (shorts). Rheinpark Stadion in Vaduz is considered the team’s home ground and the capacity of the venue is 7.584. in 1981 Liechtenstein faced Malta in their first ever unofficial match and they shared the spoils (1-1) with the Falcons in Seoul. Speaking of their first official game, Liechtenstein suffered a 1-0 loss to Switzerland two years later and it has to be noted that the Swiss played with a severely-weakened squad. The Blues-Reds recorded their first ever win in the World Cup qualifiers on October 13, 2004, with the team rolling over Luxembourg on the road. At the same time, that was the team’s first ever away win and, no doubt, the triumph gave the minnows a confidence boost. Liechtenstein have yet to qualify for the finals of a major tournament and they suffered their biggest loss on November 9, 1996. The minnows were beaten by Macedonia 11-1 in front of home fans in Eschen.