Euro 2016 Group A: Romania can sink spirited Albania and boost progression chances
Lee Gormley | June 17, 2016
Romania v Albania
- Euro 2016 Group A
- Sunday, June 19th
- Kick-off: 20:00 BST
- Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Decines
- Live on BBC One
Group A duo Albania and Romania collide
Euro 2016 Group A has been dominated by hosts France and Switzerland have been their closest challengers, but both Romania and Albania still hold outside chances of progressing to the knockout stage as they prepare to clash in their final outings.
Romania will need a win to boost their chances of going through, with three points potentially set to see them finish second (depending on the France v Switzerland score) or third, with the latter outcome still likely of earning progression within four of the best third-placed nations.
For the Albanians, their successive defeats to France and Switzerland puts them in an unpromising position, but they will still have a glimmer of hope if they can overcome their opponents by a sizeable scoreline.
In this Sunday afternoon encounter, Albania are 5/2 with Coral to secure their first three points at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais, while Romania enter as 11/10 favourites to prevail in a fixture they have only ever lost on two occasions from 16 meetings.
In-form Stancu threat to Albania
Romania frontman Bogdan Stancu has struck in his nation’s opening two group games, with both his goals coming from the penalty spot against France and Switzerland, and the in-form penalty taker is 5/1 to score first this time out.
The Romanians will also benefit from the attacking talents of Gabriel Torje and Claudiu Keseru, with the pair 10/3 and 7/4 to get on the scoresheet anytime, while Florin Andone is 7/1 to net the game’s final goal.
Albania may have lost both their games at Euro 2016 so far, but they have won plenty of admirers with their defiant showings, and they will look to finally dispatch their first goal on French soil.
The key contender for doing so will be forward Armando Sadiku, who is 2/1 to strike anytime, with Bekim Balaj, Sokol Cikalleshi and Ermir Lenjani all 11/4 to find the target this time around. Attack-minded Napoli full back Elseid Hysaj has potentially played himself into the shop window this summer and he is 12/1 to net.
Potentially tight encounter
The likes of Slovakia, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Iceland are just some of the nations possibly hoping to edge through in third spot in France, and both Romania and Albania will also be aiming to be among those successful.
Although, Gianni De Biasi’s Eagles have so far failed to become a threat going forward and are without a single goal scored, making Romania 13/5 to capitalise on their foes’ lack of killer instinct by emerging victorious without conceding.
Both teams had to endure letting in late goals in recent encounters and odds of 17/10 can be had on proceedings still being level after 75 minutes, while a full-time draw is 12/5 to occur in a game that still has high stakes in Group A.