Switzerland take on Albania in Saturday's Group A match as brothers Granit and Taulant Xhaka prepare to face off in Lens. Read here our ALBANIA v SWITZERLAND betting preview with the best predictions, expert tips, highest odds, probable line-ups, free bets and no deposit bonuses on Euro 2016.
ALBANIA v SWITZERLAND BETTING PREVIEWAlbania is one of the surprise packages at Euro 2016 as manager Gianni De Biasi has done a fabulous job with a rather ordinary group of players, considering that they made it through a very tough group that included Portugal, Denmark and Serbia. The Albanians won away against both Portugal and Serbia in qualifying and they have now lost just five of their last 18 matches in all formats (W8). They notably beat France in a friendly last year but since then they have only managed to win three of the resulting 10 matches - Qatar, Luxembourg and Armenia.
Coach Gianni de Biasi will assess the fitness of Taulant Xhaka, who made his comeback from a thigh injury in their final warm-up game. Sokol Cikalleshi may operate as central striker, despite his record of two goals in 18 international games. Gashi and Lenjani are likely to play as offensive wingers. Armando Sadiku is another option for the attack.
Switzerland qualified from Group E finishing nine points behind England after losing 'to nil' twice as England outclassed them on both occasions. The other defeat came away to Slovenia. Their preparation for Euro 2016 has hardly been ideal as they have lost four of their past five games. Anyway, they did give a well-fancied Belgium side a real test before losing 2-1 at the end of May.
The Swiss team are without Gokhan Inler, the one man at Leicester City whose reputation diminished last season, so much so that the former skipper was left out of the final squad. Coach Vladimir Petkovic has been monitoring the fitness of Watford midfielder Valon Behrami and experienced Rennes playmaker Gelson Fernandes. Haris Seferovic and Eren Derdiyok are fighting to start up front for Switzerland.
Albania have never beaten Switzerland in their six previous attempts – losing five and drawing one. The sides last met in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. The Swiss won 2-0 at home in September 2012 and 2-1 away in October 2013. Xherdan Shaqiri scored in both matches.
ALBANIA v SWITZERLAND PROBABLE LINEUPS
Albania (4-3-3): Berisha – Hysaj, Cana, Mavraj, Agolli – T. Xhaka, Kace, Abrashi; Gashi, Lenjani, Cikalleshi
Switzerland (4-3-3): Sommer; Lichtsteiner, Schar, Djourou, Rodriguez; Behrami, Dzemaili, Xhaka; Shaqiri, Derdiyok, Embolo.
ALBANIA v SWITZERLAND ODDS
|ALBANIA||5.85 with||Bet £10, win £58.50|
|THE DRAW||3.40 with||Bet £10, win £34.00|
|SWITZERLAND||1.85 with||Bet £10, win £18.50|
ALBANIA v SWITZERLAND PREDICTIONS