Albania to play Wales, Jordan in friendlies

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 18, 2018 17:25

Albania to play Wales, Jordan in friendlies

TIRANA, April 18 – Albania will play two home friendlies against Wales and Jordan next October and November during the ‘free’ international match days of the Nations League competition.

The first friendly will be against Jordan on October 10, just before they travel to Israel in their official second-leg encounter as part of the Nations League, a tournament that largely replaces friendlies but which will also play a major part in the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign by deciding the final four places via play-offs.

On November 20, three days after Albania conclude their Nations League campaign, the national side host Wales, a team that also failed to make it to the Russia 2018 World Cup but features Gareth Bale, the Real Madrid striker considered one of the world’s best.

Albania and Wales have faced each other only once in the Euro 1996 qualifying campaign with Albania losing its away first-leg fixture but drawing at home.

Wales currently rank 21st while Albania are 56th in FIFA rankings.

Albania’s football association says the two friendlies complete the six matches Albania has to play in the campaign considering its three-team group and only four official games.

Albania has been drawn against Scotland and Israel in Group 1 of League C, the only group featuring three teams, with the remaining three others showcasing four teams.

Albania will start the Nations League campaign on Sept. 7, 2018 when they host Israel, a team Albania first faced in the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign with both sides managing to get 3-0 away victories in their two-legged encounters, but Albania finishing third in a tough group campaign dominated by Spain and Italy.

Scotland, a team which Albania has never faced before is the toughest team in the group, with a lot of experience in World Cup and European tournaments, but having failed to reach a major finals since the 1998 World Cup.

Albania travel to Scotland on Sept. 10, three days after playing Israel, to conclude their first-leg Nations League fixtures. The second leg-games will be away to Israel on Oct. 14 and at home to Scotland on Nov. 17.

Albania have made a poor start this year after losing a home friendly against Norway and making one of their worst performances in the past few years and look far from the impressive form of the Euro 2016 when they claimed their first-ever group stage appearance.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 18, 2018 17:25