The Eastern Europeans will be making their European Championships debut this summer at Euro 2016, having never participated at the tournament before. Whilst there are not many fantasy football household names in the 23 man squad, they have to be taken seriously considering the likes of Holland, did not even make it to the tournament. So let’s take a closer look at what Albania have to offer us all this summer.
Lazio goalkeeper Etrit Berisha will be the man in between the sticks, whilst former Sunderland man Lorik Cana will captain the side and is the most capped footballer in the history of Albanian football. Elsed Hysaj could also be a decent option, who is another player playing for a top club in Serie A; Napoli. The 22-year-old provided two assists from full-back this season. Albania conceded just five goals in eight qualification matches, including a clean sheet away at Portugal where they won.
Taulant Xhaka, who enjoyed winning the Swiss League with Basel, will face his own brother Granit Xhaka when Albania come up against Switzerland, so he will want to have the bragging rights in the Xhaka household. Ermir Lenjani could also be another decent option, who plays for Nantes in Ligue 1 and scored for the French club when he made his debut for them last year.
Istanbul Basaksehir forward Sokol Cikalleshi scored eight goals in 21 matches for the Turkish club this campaign but the striking options are fairly limited for the Albanians. The entire 23 man squad only have 24 international goals between them, so it is rather difficult to foresee who will be finding the back of the net for them this June.
Written by Dean Ammi (@footywriterdean)
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