Friday, June 7, 2013

Albania vs. Norway

So far in this World Cup Qualification Group Albania holds second place behind Switzerland with 3-0-2 in five matches. Norway is fourth with 2-1-2. The group seems very even, and at this point anything can happen in terms of qualification.
Albania has a squad with few name players. They got players like Rama (Midefielder), Cani (Attacker) and Ujkani (Goalie) who are fringe players for Valladolid, Catania and Chievo respectively. Lila will sit out here due to his sending off when the sides met in March. Cana (Lazio), Alban Meha (Paderborn) and Odise Roshi (FSV Frankfurt) are missing from the squad.
As a group Albania has done as one could expect of them. They're 2-1-0 at home after wins against Slovenia and Cyprus. Iceland beat them 2-1 back in October. Albania is buzzing now as it is very seldom they are still in it to win it after so many games played. The atmosphere will be intense at kick off!
Norway doesn't have many superstars either. Vadim Demidov (Defender, Celta Vigo), Vegard Forren (S'Hampton) are in the fringes of their teams first eleven. Only Brede Hangeland (Fulham) and  Haavard Nordtveit (Defender/Defensive Midfield, Gladbach) can be said to hold a high international standard. However, the young and very much up and coming Markus Henriksen (AZ), Valon Berisha (Salzburg) and Joshua King (Blackburn) are proof of what seems to be a very good generational shift in Norwegian football. They'll leave the Norwegian squad and should field against Italy at least in the U21 European Championship in Israel together with Nordtveit.

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