Albania Euro 2024 Preview | Tactical Analysis & Final Verdict

Albania Euro 2024 Preview | Tactical Analysis & Final Verdict article feature image

BJ Cunningham, Cyriel Klitsie/Action Network. Pictured: Armando Broja.

For only the second time in the country's history, Albania will be making an appearance at the Euros.

They impressively finished atop their qualifying over the Czech Republic and Poland, but they were put into one of the most difficult groups, drawing Spain, Italy and Croatia. Sylvinho has his team to set up to play very defensive, low event types of matches, so the only chance Albania have at getting through will be to overp-erform offensively in transition and defensively in their low block. To be fair, that's exactly what they did during qualifying.

Let's dive into my Albania Euro 2024 preview.

Tactical Analysis

Albania are always looking to play very direct. From goal kick situations, the keeper will come out and act as +1 in build up with the center backs splitting wide and the full backs pushing high.

They generally rely on transition breaks to create most of their chances, as they had the fifth-most counterattack shots in the Euro field, but the way they settle for chances is not sustainable. Of the 12 goals that Albania scored during qualifying, seven of them were low quality chances from outside the box, mainly by Jasir Asani, who plays in South Korea’s K1 League.

Sylvinho has his side play out of a 4-2-3-1 and that is generally the shape they stay when defending in their own final third. They tend to play pretty passively until they reach the final third. When that happens they man mark all over the pitch and put a lot of pressure on the ball to try and win it to create a transition opportunity. Their shape is generally very narrow when they decide to sit off a little more, which usually happens when they are playing with a lead, making it very difficult for teams to play through the middle.

The issues that arise for Albania defensively are usually game-state dependent. They played almost the entirety of qualifying from an even game state or with a lead, so there was really never a need to try and press their opponents build up. In the 10-minute stretch against the Czech Republic when they fell behind and had to come out and press, they did so in a man to man fashion and they got played through with pretty relative ease.

Albania has the second-highest PPDA in the Euro field at 14.5 and allowed the second-most progressive passes as well. They also really struggled to defend set pieces, as they allowed the highest amount of shots per set piece and two of the four goals they conceded came off of them as well.


data via WyScout

Final Verdict

Albania didn’t have their best striker and maybe overall player in Armando Broja healthy for any of their qualifying matches, which makes a massive difference. Without him they really weren’t able to create anything of value unless they were playing with a lead and the game was stretched. The 12 goals they scored came off of only 7.44 expected goals, so it’s going to be difficult for them to create chances in this group when they aren’t playing with a lead, like they were for most of qualifying.

The market is correctly pricing Albania as the heavy favorite to both not to qualify for the knockout stage and to finish at the bottom of this group. Given how little talent there is across this squad, their best chance at getting points is going to come against Croatia, but even then they are going to be heavy underdogs.

While I don't have a future for Albania, be on the lookout for their totals because they will be an under team with their matches during qualifying only averaging 1.97 expected goals.

Final Verdict: Pass

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