In our Albania Euro 2016 team preview, we’ve compiled the schedule and roster for Albania as well as a prediction on how far they’ll advance in the tournament and which players to watch out for.

Albania Euro 2016 team preview

Manager: Gianni De Biasi

Captain: Lorik Cana

Fixtures:

Saturday, June 11

Albania vs. Switzerland, 9am, ESPN, ESPN Deportes, Sling TV, Sling Latino and WatchESPN (tickets)

Wednesday, June 15

France vs. Albania, 3pm, ESPN, ESPN Deportes, Sling TV, Sling Latino and WatchESPN (tickets)

Sunday, June 19

Romania vs. Albania, 3pm, ESPN2, Sling TV, Sling Latino and WatchESPN (tickets)

SEE MORE: See the complete schedule of Euro 2016 games on US TV and streaming

Albania: Euro 2016 team preview: Squad:

Goalkeepers: Etrit Berisha (Lazio), Alban Hoxha (Partizani), Orges Shehi (Skenderbeu).

Defenders: Elseid Hysaj (Napoli), Lorik Cana (Nantes), Arlind Ajeti (Frosinone), Mergim Mavraj (Koeln), Naser Aliji (Basel), Ansi Agolli (Karabag), Frederik Veseli (Lugano).

Midfielders: Ermir Lenjani (Nantes), Andi Lila (Giannina), Migjen Basha (Como), Ledian Memushaj (Pescara), Burim Kukeli (Zurich), Taulant Xhaka (Basel), Ergys Kace (Paok), Amir Abrashi (Freiburg), Odise Roshi (Rijeka).

Forwards: Bekim Balaj (Rijeka), Sokol Cikalleshi (Medipol Basaksehir), Armando Sadiku (Vaduz), Shkelzen Gashi (Colorado Rapids).

Albania: Euro 2016 team preview

Overview:

The expansion of the European Championships from 16 teams to 24 means we’ll be treated to some fresh outfits at this summer’s tournament. Albania, making their maiden appearance in a major competition, are one.

That much in itself makes this group major underdogs in France. De Biasi’s side may be as spirited and determined as any of the 24 and that’ll serve them well when taking on the host nation, Switzerland and Romania. But the inventiveness required to do damage at this elite level has yet to reveal itself consistently.

What the Shqiponjat do possess is tenacity and durability. In qualifying, quite remarkably, Albania didn’t concede a single goal away from home, a solid defensive foundation that allowed them to spring a surprise against an illustrious Portugal team in September 2014. They were also infamously awarded three points after their drone-affected tussle with Serbia was abandoned.

Wins against a very capable Armenia outfit showed this is a team that’s capable of making an impression in the final third, although watching Albania can be something of a slog. De Biasi favours a functional brand of football, with the dogged Cana epitomising their altruistic approach to the game.

It means they may not be the most attractive side to watch in the group stages, although the team will take no shame in assuming the role of spoilers against the likes of Switzerland and France. That’s a blueprint they followed well in qualifying and if they can soak up pressure, then nick a goal as they did so well against the Selecao, they might just sneak into the second round.

Albania: Euro 2016 team preview: Key Player:

Lorik Cana – Now at FC Nantes, Cana is a player who has been on the European football circuit for a long time. Leading his team out in Lens against Switzerland on June 11 will be the proudest moment of his career, though.

A boisterous, belligerent midfield man in his heyday, the 32-year-old drops in at centre-back for the national side. And any strikers seeking to get the better of him will find a rugged competitor who is at his very best in physical battles. As the nation’s all-time record appearance-maker, his comparatively inexperienced counterparts will look to Cana to lead the way in tough moments.

Albania: Euro 2016 team preview: Verdict:

Group Stage Elimination – Playing on the back foot will suit this team and with all three group opponents technically superior, you anticipate that’s exactly what they’ll do. If Lazio goalkeeper Etrit Berisha can shine and Cana can hold things together, they’ll be obdurate opposition. However, they lack the requisite attacking threat to progress beyond the group stages.

Albania home jersey

Euro 2016 jerseys

At this summer’s Euros, the Eagles of Albania will make their first appearance at a major tournament. New jersey sponsors Macron have created a jersey that is inspired by the Albanian flag.

Find out how to order the Albania home jersey today.

Euro 2016 team previews

• Albania team preview
• Austria team preview
• Belgium team preview
• Croatia team preview
• Czech Republic team preview
• England team preview
• France team preview
• Germany team preview
• Hungary team preview
• Iceland team preview
• Italy team preview
• Northern Ireland team preview
• Poland team preview
• Portugal team preview
• Republic of Ireland team preview
• Romania team preview
• Russia team preview
• Slovakia team preview
• Spain team preview
• Sweden team preview
• Switzerland team preview
• Turkey team preview
• Ukraine team preview
• Wales team preview

25+ Channels With Sports & News
  • Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
  • Watch Premier League, Liga MX, MLS & World Cup
  • Includes ESPN, FOX, Univision, TUDN and more
Favorite Leagues At The Best Price
  • Starting price: $7.99/mo. for Live TV Package
  • Watch Argentine league, Brasileirāo and Copa Libertadores
  • Includes beIN SPORTS, GolTV, TyC Sports and more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
  • Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
  • Features LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, Copa del Rey & more
  • Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
Live TV, Soccer & Originals
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo.
  • Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & more
  • Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
  • Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
  • Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
Get All 3 And Save 30%
  • $13.99/mo. for ESPN+, Disney+ & Hulu
  • Includes Bundesliga, LaLiga, NHL & the home to UFC
  • Features Marvel, Star Wars + shows & movies for your entire family