Desperately unlucky not to take a point from their opening match, Albania will be staring Euro 2016 elimination in the face if, as expected, they lose to tournament hosts France in their second game.
Les Bleus got off to a winning start, though elements of good fortune came to their aid, with a late Dimitri Payet stunner sealing victory after opponents Romania had squandered gilt-edged goalscoring opportunities.
Nevertheless, Didier Deschamps’ side will be essentially guaranteed progress to the knockout phase if they overcome the Eagles in Marseille.
The general consensus suggests they’ll encounter few problems in their attempts to do so, but if the spirited Albanian outfit that, were it not for some substandard finishing, could’ve beaten Switzerland despite playing the majority of their meeting with ten men turn up, any win they are able to obtain will be a hard-fought one.
Gianni De Biasi and his brains trust will have noted France’s frailty when it came to defending Romanian set pieces, in particular, and, while their adversaries will probably prove too strong, the contest will be tighter than what’s being envisioned.
Win, Lose or Draw?
The huge discrepancy in quality and experience between the two nations lends enormous favour to the French, whose victory over Romania in match one was their fifth in a row and tenth in 11 outings.
Incidentally, this run began after Deschamps’ troops succumbed to a surprise 1-0 reverse against Albania in a friendly that fell almost exactly one year before their Marseille meeting.
Having already beaten a France side that contained several players who are likely to start in the Stade Velodrome, the Balkan outfit are a far cry from cannon fodder and punters can expect them to at least register a goal in game two.
Their Switzerland setback was the first match in seven in which they failed to find the net, while Les Bleus have shut out just four foes since the aforementioned Albania defeat 12 months ago.
Such is their firepower, they can afford the underdogs a goal and still expect to win.
In the 11 games that followed their loss in Tirana, just twice have they failed to register on multiple goals in a single match.
Against a team that afforded Switzerland 12 attempts in their opener, France will fashion more than enough opportunities to elongate that streak, but their backline will be breached in the process.
Recommended bet: France to win & both teams to score @ 27/10
The latter wager can’t land without the 2.5-goal line being crossed, but with a larger price on offer about at least four being registered here, punters are advised to shoot for the bigger bounty.
Three of France’s last five fixtures lined the pockets of the over 3.5-goal backers, as did four of the previous seven (and two of the last three) involving Albania.
Recommended bet: Over 3.5 goals @ 7/4
Who’s Going To Score?
Armando Sadiku spurned two glorious chances against the Swiss, which brought to a close his run of three goals in as many matches.
In the finest form of any Albanian striker, he’ll surely be tasked with leading the line again and rates a massive 15/2 to notch at any time.
For France, Olivier Giroud has struck eight in eight, three of which were deadlock-breakers.
Recommended bet: Giroud to score first @ 3/1
The Romania match was the first game in five in which France failed to bag at least a brace before the break.
In three of these games they scored exactly two and in two of them the half-time whistle shrilled with the scoreboard reading 2-0 in their favour.
This doesn’t bode well for Albania, who have leaked at least one first-half goal in five of their last six outings.
Recommended bet: France 2-0 Albania first half correct score @ 4/1