Scotland vs Albania betting tips: UEFA Nations League match preview & predictions

Hampden Park

Scotland vs Albania prediction: Scotland 2-1 Albania

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Scotland’s UEFA Nations League campaign kicks off at Hampden Park with the visit of Albania.

Scotland were comfortably beaten in a warm up friendly on Friday night but a win here would lift the spirits of everyone.

Meanwhile, Albania began their UEFA Nations League adventure with a victory.

Will the Tartan Army join them at the top of League C1?

Scotland vs Albania: Who will win?

Scotland are favourites at 4/5 to claim the 3 points.

Albania are 4/1 to make it back to back wins.

A draw is 23/10.

Leigh Griffiths will be the main goal threat for the hosts.

Celtic’s number 9 is 9/2 to score first and 13/8 to score anytime.

Bekim Balaj will lead the line for the hosts. He is 9/1 to score first and 10/3 to score anytime.

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Scotland vs Albania: Match preview

Scotland will be hoping to get their Nations League campaign off to the perfect start.

In their last campaign, once again for Scotland, it ended in heartbreak.

A 2-2 draw in Ljubljana with Slovenia saw them just miss out on a play off place meaning they still haven’t qualified for a major tournament this century.

That was Gordon Strachan’s last game in charge.

Alex McLeish has since been re-hired as Scotland manager; he last held the post for 10 games in 2007.

They hosted Belgium on Friday night but it didn’t turn out to be ideal preperation.

The visitors ran out resounding 4-0 winners and Scotland must show character and respond.

That was McLeish’s fifth friendly since taking over as manager but, this game in the Nations League is the serious business.

Scotland flag

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – JANUARY 31: The scottish flag is seen during the Scottish League Cup Semi-Final match between Dundee United and Aberdeen at Hampden Park on January 31, 2015 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Albania looking for 2 wins from 2!

Albania may have only ever qualified for 1 major tournament in their history but that appearance was far more recent than any of Scotland’s.

They were at Euro 2016 where they lost to Switzerland and France before an historic win over Romania.

In World Cup qualification, they couldn’t repeat the feat but finished a respectable third behind Spain and Italy.

They kicked off their Nations League campaign on Friday against Israel.

Basel midfielder Taulant Xhaka scored the only goal of the game as they won 1-0 in Elbasan.

They’ll head to Glasgow in buoyant mood, something Scotland must be wary of.

A Scotland win would put them level at the top of the group with their visitors and, even at this early stage, in a healthy position.

However, an Albania win would put them 6 points clear of anyone else and in pole position for promotion.

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Scotland team news vs Albania

Andrew Robertson

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – SEPTEMBER 03: New Scotland Captain Andy Robertson and Scotland manager Alex McLeish are seen during a Scotland training session ahead of their International friendly match against Belgium at Orium Performance Centre on September 3, 2018 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Friday’s friendly with Belgium has given everyone more of an idea about what Alex McLeish’s Scotland will look like.

Most expected Rangers’ Allan McGregor to start in goal but Celtic’s Craig Gordon got the nod and is likely to start again here.

McLeish went with a back 3 as he tries to deal with his Tierney/ Robertson conundrum.

It’s just Scotland’s luck that both of their top class players happen to be left backs isn’t it?

To get them both in, Kieran Tierney started in a back 3 which included John Souttar who made his international debut.

The Hearts man impressed and will probably start in a competitive game for the first time here.

The formation allows new captain Andy Robertson of Liverpool to play further forward.

He’ll start at left wing-back with Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser on the other side.

Alex McLeish may not have many centre backs to choose from but he does have a gluttony of central midfielders.

John McGinn was one of the bright spots of Friday’s defeat and should retain his place.

Rangers’ Ryan Jack also looked good off the bench and will feel he did enough to warrant a start this time.

Callum McGregor will drop into a deeper role to allow Steven Naismith to play in the number 10 role.

Where he will support Leigh Griffiths who will be the main source of Scotland’s goals for the foreseeable future.

The likes of Stuart Armstrong and James Forrest can make an impact off the bench if called upon.

Albania team news vs Scotland

For Christian Panucci’s Albania, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

The former AC Milan defender made some big calls in Friday’s win over Israel but they worked and those players are expected to stay in.

One of those decisions was in goal.

Etrit Berisha of Atalanta has been the regular number 1 down the years but Lazio’s Thomas Strakosha started and will do so again.

The most capped player in the squad, Ansi Agolli of Qarabağ, was also left out.

The left back’s omission meant that Malmö’s Egzon Binaku won his first cap and will win his second here.

The average age of their back 4 and goalkeeper is just 24.

Taulant Xhaka’s winner against Israel was his first ever international goal and he’ll win his 23rd cap at Hampden.

Captain Jahmir Hyka has been a bright spark in an otherwise miserable season for MLS’ bottom club San Jose Earthquakes.

Can he be the spark at Hampden?

As a squad they do find goals hard to come by.

Bekim Balaj who plays for Russian Premier League side Akhmat Grozny is the top scorer in the squad with just 4 international goals.

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Predicted Scotland team vs Albania

Predicted Albania team vs Scotland

The latest tweets from Scotland pre Albania

All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.

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Draw at half-time & Scotland to beat Albania: 7/2!