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TRICKY TIE: Will England find their trip to Albania difficult?


England travel to Albania for their second FIFA World Cup qualifying game on Saturday after being given security clearances.

Albanian state police say they have resolved the security issue regarding a policing scare that had the game in doubt.

Albania's government denied their football federation's request to have vaccinated fans attend the game in Tirana earlier this week.

Should the game have not been played, it was likely Albania would have forfeited the tie and England received a win.

The Albanian football government body said if the game did not go ahead it would have "catastrophic consequences for the image of our country".

England manager Gareth Southgate never thought the game would be cancelled despite the concerns.

"I didn’t think for one minute it would be in doubt," he said following his side's win over San Marino.

"We’re flooded by stories like that all the time about various issues and it’s very rare those things come to fruition. I’m told there’s no doubt about the game."


Same again the plan for England against Albania as they aim for World Cup qualification


England came through their opening game against San Marino with a convincing 5-0 victory.

However, this game will pose a more difficult challenge compared to that of the minnows they faced in the first match of the campaign.

Albania also won their opening game in the World Cup qualifying group stage putting them level on points with England.



They enjoyed a similarly dominant performance to that of England's against San Marino when they faced Andorra.

Although the scoreline was only 1-0 thanks to Ermir Lenjani's goal before halftime.

There are calls for the England boss to continue experimenting with his side but he says he knows his best team.

When asked if he had an optimal lineup he said: "The answer to that would be yes."

Yet he left the door open for other players to still force their way into his thinking with good performances for their clubs from now until the summer.

"Every game we play, every opportunity to play with clubs, people have the chance to show good form, good level of quality and the opportunity to change that thinking.

"It would be foolish to pin ourselves to something now when everything is so fluid and things change so quickly."

England's game in Albania kicks off at 5pm on Sunday evening.

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