Christian Panucci, Albania’s coach is confident a change in their tactics to a more defensive brand of football, and some key players making their comebacks following injury could see them make it through another miracle qualification for the Euro 2020.In the same fashion they did the 2016 edition qualifiers, when they earned their first ever appearance at a major competition.
The former Italy international, who played for top European clubs but had little experience as a coach whentaking over from compatriot De Biasi, who led Albania to France 2016, has the believe that key absences from the former coach’s team and a more attacking brand of football he was experimenting with are the main reasons the team has been performing woefully.
Albania will start their qualifying campaign in a month’s time. Which is a home tie against Turkey, Panucci believes Albania can be among the top two teams in their group, where world champions France are undisputed favourites for a top finish and Iceland, Turkey and Albania will rival for a second spot, that also earns direct qualification for the Euro 2020 finals. Having also lost much of their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign shine during the past couple of years, Albania missed an opportunity to keep Euro 2020 qualification hopes alive, through the inaugural UEFA Nations League by finishing in bottom place in their League C Group 1 that also featured Scotland and Israel, thereby taking responsibility for their abysmal outing.
The 45-year-old Italian believes a more defensive style of football like Albania used to play under their former boss, and newly recovered key players who missed a larger part of their 2018 campaign, will boost Albania’s Euro 2020 prospects.