Last updated 17/11/2018 08:27CET
UEFA Nations League: Albania - Scotland Match press kits

UEFA Nations League - 2018/19 SeasonMatch press kits

AlbaniaAlbaniaLoro Boriçi Stadium - ShkoderSaturday 17 November 2018
20.45CET (20.45 local time)
Group C1 - Matchday 5
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Previous meetings Only this chapter

Head to Head

UEFA Nations League
DateStage reachedMatchResultVenueGoalscorers
10/09/2018GS-FTScotland - Albania2-0
GlasgowXhimshiti 47 (og), Naismith 68
 QualifyingFinal tournamentTotal

Last updated 12/11/2018 14:01CET

Squad list Only this chapter

Albania - Squad list
League phase
1Etrit Berisha10/03/198929Atalanta - 00
12Elhan Kastrati02/02/199721Pescara - 00
23Thomas Strakosha19/03/199523Lazio - 30
2Andi Lila12/02/198632Giannina - 00
4Ardian Ismajli30/09/199622Hajduk Split - 00
5Frédéric Veseli20/11/199225Empoli - 20
6Berat Xhimshiti19/02/199325Atalanta - 30
15Mërgim Mavraj09/06/198632Aris - 20
17Egzon Binaku17/08/199523Malmö - 30
18Kastriot Dermaku15/01/199226Cosenza - 00
7Eros Grezda15/04/199523Rangers - 10
9Ledian Memushaj 07/12/198631Pescara - 30
13Sabien Lilaj10/02/198929Gabala - 20
14Taulant Xhaka28/03/199127Basel - 31
16Emanuele Ndoj20/11/199621Brescia - 10
20Ergys Kaçe08/07/199325Panathinaikos - 00
21Enis Gavazaj21/03/199523Yenisey - 20
3Egil Kaja26/07/199721Livingston - 00
8Albion Ademi19/02/199919Inter Turku - 00
10Rei Manaj24/02/199721Albacete - 10
11Giacomo Vrioni15/10/199820Venezia - 10
19Bekim Balaj11/01/199127Akhmat - 30
22Myrto Uzuni31/05/199523Laç - 10
-Christian Panucci12/04/197345 - 30
Scotland - Squad list
League phase
-Allan McGregor31/01/198236Rangers - 20
-Jamie McDonald17/04/198632Kilmarnock - 00
-Scott Bain22/11/199126Celtic - 00
-Graeme Shinnie04/08/199127Aberdeen - 00
-Callum Paterson13/10/199424Cardiff - 00
-Andy Robertson11/03/199424Liverpool*20
-Scott McKenna12/11/199622Aberdeen - 10
-David Bates05/10/199622Hamburg - 00
-Jack Hendry07/05/199523Celtic - 00
-Gary Mackay-Steven31/08/199028Aberdeen - 00
-James Forrest07/07/199127Celtic - 10
-Callum McGregor14/06/199325Celtic - 20
-Stuart Armstrong30/03/199226Southampton - 10
-Matthew Phillips13/03/199127West Brom - 00
-Scott McTominay08/12/199621Man. United - 10
-Steven Fletcher26/03/198731Sheff. Wednesday - 00
-Johnny Russell08/04/199028Sporting Kansas City - 20
-Ryan Fraser24/02/199424Bournemouth - 00
-Ryan Christie22/02/199523Celtic - 00
-Oliver McBurnie04/06/199622Swansea - 10
-Alex Mcleish21/01/195959 - 20

Last updated 17/11/2018 08:27CET

Head coach Only this chapter

Christian Panucci

Date of birth: 12 April 1973
Nationality: Italian
Playing career: Genoa, AC Milan, Real Madrid, Internazionale Milano, Chelsea (loan), Monaco, Roma, Parma
Coaching career: Russia (assistant), Livorno, Ternana, Albania

• Having risen through the ranks at Genoa, Panucci spent two seasons in the first team before leaving for Milan in 1993, winning the Scudetto and UEFA Champions League in his first season with the Rossoneri.

• A right-back who could cover in central defence, he captured a second Serie A title with Milan followed in 1996. Panucci moved to Real Madrid midway through 1996/97, becoming first Italian to play for Spanish giants, winning another league title that season and the UEFA Champions League again in 1998.

• Short spells at Inter, Chelsea and Monaco preceded his 2001 move to Roma, for whom he would make more than 300 appearances over the next eight years, winning the Coppa Italia twice. He hung up his boots in 2010 after a year with Parma.

• Twice a UEFA European Under-21 Championship winner with Italy, Panucci won 57 caps in a senior career spanning 14 years. Made his major tournament bow at the 2002 FIFA World Cup and scored the added-time goal against Scotland that took Italy to UEFA EURO 2008.

• Worked as Fabio Capello's assistant coach with Russia before striking out on his own; had short spells in charge of Serie B sides Livorno and Ternana before being appointed to succeed fellow Italian Gianni De Biasi as Albania coach in July 2017.


Alex McLeish

Date of birth: 21 January 1959
Nationality: Scottish
Playing career: Aberdeen, Motherwell
Coaching career: Motherwell, Hibernian, Rangers, Scotland (twice), Birmingham, Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest, Genk, Zamalek

• McLeish made his name as a rock-solid central defender with Alex Ferguson's illustrious Old Firm-defying Aberdeen side of the 1980s; the Dons won the Scottish league title in 1980, 1984 and 1985, added four Scottish Cup victories in five years and, most famously, beat Real Madrid 2-1 in the 1983 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final before also overcoming Hamburg in that year's UEFA Super Cup.
• During his 17 years at Pittodrie, 'Eck' earned 77 caps for Scotland, playing at the 1982, 1986 and 1990 FIFA World Cup finals. He joined Motherwell as player/manager in 1994 and proved an immediate success at Fir Park, guiding the unfancied side to a runners-up spot in the Scottish Premier League in his first season in charge.
• He moved on in 1998 to Hibernian, where he experienced a mixture of highs and lows. Mooted at one point as a candidate to become Ferguson's right-hand man at Manchester United, his next career move took him instead to Rangers, where he replaced Dick Advocaat as manager in December 2001. McLeish's four-and-a-half-year tenure brought two league titles, two Scottish Cups and three Scottish League Cups to Ibrox, but a difficult season in 2005/06 prompted his departure.

• In January 2007 McLeish was named as the new manager of Scotland, replacing Walter Smith. He would last less than a year, quitting in November to join English Premier League club Birmingham. He remained at St Andrew's for three and a half seasons, winning the League Cup in 2011 but also experiencing relegation at the end of the same campaign. In a surprise move he left to join city rivals Aston Villa but lasted only a season in charge.

• Brief stints at Nottingham Forest, Belgian club Genk (where he enjoyed a fruitful 2014/15 campaign) and Egyptian side Zamalek preceded his reappointment as Scotland manager on 16 February 2018, ending a spell of more than 18 months in the managerial wilderness.


Match officials Only this chapter

  • RefereeVladislav Bezborodov (RUS)
  • Assistant refereesValeri Danchenko (RUS) , Maksim Gavrilin (RUS)
  • Additional assistant refereesAleksei Eskov (RUS) , Sergei Ivanov (RUS)
  • Fourth officialAleksei Lunev (RUS)
  • UEFA DelegateCharles Schaack (LUX)
  • UEFA Referee observerKaj Natri (FIN)


NameDate of birthUEFA matches
Vladislav Bezborodov15/01/1973166

UEFA Nations League matches between the two teams

No such matches refereed

Other matches involving teams from either of the two countries involved in this match

DateCompetitionStage reachedHomeAwayResultVenue
16/07/2009UEL2QRSK Rapid WienKF Vllaznia5-0Vienna
10/10/2009U19QRScotlandRomania3-0St. Veit an der Glan
15/10/2009U19QRScotlandAustria0-1St. Veit an der Glan
03/08/2011UCL3QRMalmö FFRangers FC1-1Malmo
30/08/2012UELPOLiverpool FCHeart of Midlothian FC1-1Liverpool
22/10/2015UELGSMolde FKCeltic FC3-1Molde
14/08/2018UCL3QRAEK Athens FCCeltic FC2-1Athens

Last updated 15/11/2018 11:31CET

Competition facts Only this chapter

What is the background to the UEFA Nations League?

The rejuvenation of national team football – and the UEFA Nations League – stems from the desire of UEFA and its 55 member associations to improve the quality and standing of national team football. UEFA and its associations wanted more sporting meaning in national team football, with associations, coaches, players and supporters increasingly of the opinion that friendly matches are not providing adequate competition for national teams.

Extensive consultation and discussions started as far back as the 2011 UEFA Strategy Meeting in Cyprus and continued at a series of Top Executive Programme (TEP) meetings over the following three years. The UEFA Nations League was unanimously adopted at the XXXVIII Ordinary UEFA Congress in Astana on 27 March 2014.

What is the basic format?

  • The format of the UEFA Nations League features promotion and relegation. The 55 European national teams have been divided into four leagues in accordance with UEFA's national association coefficient rankings on 11 October 2017.
  • League A includes the top-ranked sides and League D includes the lowest:

League A

Group A1: Germany, France, Netherlands
Group A2: Belgium, Switzerland, Iceland
Group A3: Portugal, Italy, Poland
Group A4: Spain, England, Croatia

  • Teams have been split into four groups of three, with the group winners then contesting the UEFA Nations League Finals (semi-finals, third-place match and final) in June 2019 to become the UEFA Nations League winners. One host country will be appointed in December 2018 from among the finalist teams.
  • The four teams that finish bottom of their groups will be relegated to League B for the 2020 edition.
  • The top four ranked teams that do not qualify for UEFA EURO 2020 will enter a play-off in March 2020, with one finals place on offer.

League B

Group B1: Slovakia, Ukraine, Czech Republic
Group B2: Russia, Sweden, Turkey
Group B3: Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Northern Ireland
Group B4: Wales, Republic of Ireland, Denmark

  • Teams have been split into four groups of three.
  • The four group winners are promoted to League A, with the four sides that finish bottom relegated to League C for the next competition to be played in 2020.
  • The top four ranked teams that do not qualify for UEFA EURO 2020 will enter a play-off in March 2020, with one finals place on offer

League C

Group C1: Scotland, Albania, Israel
Group C2: Hungary, Greece, Finland, Estonia
Group C3: Slovenia, Norway, Bulgaria, Cyprus
Group C4: Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, Lithuania

  • Teams have been split into one group of three (containing teams from Pots 1, 2 and 3 only) and three groups of four.
  • Due to winter venue restrictions, a group could contain a maximum of two of these teams: Norway, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania.
  • The four group winners are promoted to League B, with the four sides that finish bottom relegated to League D for the 2020 edition.
  • The top four ranked teams that do not qualify for UEFA EURO 2020 will enter a play-off in March 2020, with one finals place on offer.

League D

Group D1: Georgia, Latvia, Kazakhstan, Andorra
Group D2: Belarus, Luxembourg, Moldova, San Marino
Group D3: Azerbaijan, Faroe Islands, Malta, Kosovo
Group D4: FYR Macedonia, Armenia, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar

  • Teams have been split into four groups of four.
  • Due to excessive travel restrictions, any group could not contain a maximum of one of these pairs: Andorra & Kazakhstan, Faroe Islands & Kazakhstan, Gibraltar & Kazakhstan, Gibraltar & Azerbaijan
  • The four group winners are promoted to League C for the 2020 edition.
  • The top four ranked teams that do not qualify for UEFA EURO 2020 will enter a play-off in March 2020, with one finals place on offer.

  • Leagues A and B consist of four groups of three teams
  • League C comprises one group of three teams and three groups of four sides
  • League D is formed by four groups of four teams
  • The League Phase Draw for the UEFA Nations League took place at the SwissTech Convention Centre in Lausanne on 24 January 2018.
  • In each league, four group winners are promoted (or play in the Finals, see below) and four teams are relegated for the next competition to be played in 2020.
  • The overall UEFA Nations League rankings will determine the composition of the draw pots for the subsequent European Qualifiers.
  • In addition, the UEFA Nations League will provide teams with another chance to qualify for the UEFA EURO final tournament, with four sides qualifying through play-off matches which take place in March 2020 (see below).

When will the UEFA Nations League take place?

The UEFA Nations League will take place as follows:

  • See the full fixture list.
  • The UEFA Nations League group games are being held over six matchdays, during the 'double-headers' in September, October and November 2018. The UEFA Nations League Finals competition for the teams that win the four groups within the top division is scheduled for June 2019.
  • For the UEFA Nations League Finals, the group winners of UEFA Nations League A will play in a knockout format (semi-finals, third-place match and final) in June 2019 to become the UEFA Nations League winners. One host country will be formally appointed by the UEFA Executive Committee in December 2018 from one of the nations competing in the final four. Italy, Poland and Portugal (all in Group A3) have expressed interest.
  • The play-off matches will be staged in March 2020 (see below).

Will qualifying for the UEFA EURO change?

The changes to UEFA EURO qualifying will make it more streamlined. The equation is now simple: ten groups with the top two teams in each group qualifying automatically, and the other four places being awarded to European Qualifiers play-off winners, in which the 16 group winners of the UEFA Nations League will be in contention.

The UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying draw will be made after the completion of the UEFA Nations League and allow for the four UEFA Nations League Finals participants to be drawn into groups of five teams.

But the key principle of the qualifiers remains: that every team can play every team.

The European Qualifiers for UEFA EURO 2020 commence in March 2019. There will be two matchdays in each of March, June, September, October and November 2019. In total, there will be five groups of five teams and five groups of six teams (ten groups in all) playing over ten matchdays (the same number as now). The winner and runner-up in each of the ten groups will qualify automatically for the UEFA EURO 2020 final tournament (June 2020).

  • The last four EURO places will be won through the European Qualifiers play-offs, which will take place in March 2020 and which will be contested by the 16 UEFA Nations League group winners.
  • If a group winner has already qualified via the European Qualifiers, then their spot will go to the next best-ranked team in their league. If a league does not have four teams to compete, the remaining slots are allocated to teams from another league, according to the overall UEFA Nations League ranking.  
  • Each league will have a path of its own and each path will feature two single-leg semi-finals and one single-leg final. The winner of each path will win a ticket to UEFA EURO 2020.

How are the overall UEFA Nations League rankings calculated?

Within each league (A, B, C and D), the overall ranking will be calculated based on position in the group then points, goal difference, goals scored, away goals scored, wins, away wins, disciplinary points, coefficient ranking.

What are the advantages for national associations and teams?

National associations and coaches, in consultations with UEFA, revealed that they feel that friendly internationals are not providing adequate sporting competition. The UEFA Nations League creates more meaningful and competitive matches for teams and a dedicated calendar and structure for national team football.

Top teams can also aspire to take part in the UEFA Nations League Finals, a new top-level event.

For middle-ranking and smaller nations, the UEFA Nations League will offer an extra way to qualify for UEFA EURO final tournaments. Lower-tier countries – the bottom 16 in the rankings – are now guaranteed one of the 24 qualifying slots for UEFA EURO.

Lower-ranking teams who have struggled against sides ranked considerably higher than them will now get the chance to take part in balanced matches. Teams do not learn and progress by repeatedly losing; now some sides will start winning.

While the UEFA Nations League will replace most friendly internationals, there will still be space in the calendar for friendlies, especially for top teams who may want to face opposition from outside Europe as they will be in groups of three teams.

Associations and teams benefit from clarity of the fixture calendar, and there is now a clear buffer between the end of the UEFA EURO and FIFA World Cup, and vice versa, as well as stability of income.

What are the advantages for supporters?

Supporters more than most realise that most friendlies fail to deliver competitive and meaningful football. Now they will have the opportunity to see their teams play in more competitive matches, take part in a new competition and get a second chance to qualify for the major tournaments.

In every even year there are World Cup or UEFA EURO champions; now in every odd year there will be a UEFA Nations League winners. Football is about competition and now, just like in club football, there will be a national team champion at the close of every season.

Will this mean more demands on players and clubs?

No: the UEFA Nations League and European Qualifiers will adhere to the existing agreed international match calendar. UEFA is always keen to preserve the balance between club and international football. The new competition should, in fact, reduce demands on players and clubs with less travel envisaged for friendly games while national teams will be playing more consistently at their own level. With double-header matchweeks, players will even go back to their clubs earlier than is currently the case.

Is this just about generating more revenue?

No, finances are not a driver for the new competition. However, the competition will have the same centralised media rights as have recently been introduced for all European Qualifiers so associations will have even more stability in their income.

Will there be no more friendly internationals?

There will certainly be fewer friendly internationals and undoubtedly fewer meaningless friendlies. However, there will still be space in the calendar for friendly internationals – particularly warm-up matches for final tournaments. UEFA is also keen that European teams will still have the chance to play opponents from other confederations.


Match-by-match lineups Only this chapter


  • UEFA Nations League - Group stage – final tournament
    Group C1 - Group Standings
    Matchday 1 (07/09/2018)
    Albania 1-0 Israel
    1-0 Xhaka 55
    Strakosha, Binaku, Hysaj, Veseli (84 Mavraj), Xhimshiti, Basha, Memushaj , Xhaka, Guri (46 Balaj), Hyka, Gavazaj (71 Prenga)
  • Matchday 2 (10/09/2018)
    Scotland 2-0 Albania
    1-0 Xhimshiti 47 (og) , 2-0 Naismith 68
    Strakosha, Binaku, Hysaj, Veseli (91 Mihaj), Xhimshiti, Memushaj , Ndoj (66 Manaj), Lilaj, Xhaka, Balaj, Gavazaj (46 Prenga)
  • Matchday 4 (14/10/2018)
    Israel 2-0 Albania
    1-0 Hemed 8, 2-0 Seba 83
    Strakosha, Hysaj, Xhimshiti, Grezda, Basha (46 Lilaj), Memushaj , Xhaka, Mavraj, Binaku, Uzuni, Balaj (73 Vrioni)
  • Matchday 5 (17/11/2018)


  • UEFA Nations League - Group stage – final tournament
    Matchday 2 (10/09/2018)
    Scotland 2-0 Albania
    1-0 Xhimshiti 47 (og) , 2-0 Naismith 68
    A. McGregor, O'Donnell, Robertson, Souttar, Mulgrew, Tierney, McGinn, McDonald (46 Armstrong), Naismith, C. McGregor (79 McTominay), Russell (70 Griffiths)
  • Matchday 3 (11/10/2018)
    Israel 2-1 Scotland
    0-1 Mulgrew 25 (P) , 1-1 D. Peretz 52, 2-1 Tierney 75 (og)
    A. McGregor, O'Donnell, Robertson, Souttar, Mulgrew (46 McKenna), Tierney, McGinn, McDonald, Naismith (76 McBurnie), Russell (67 Forrest), C. McGregor
  • Matchday 5 (17/11/2018)
  • Matchday 6 (20/11/2018)

Last updated 12/11/2018 13:49CET



  • Disclaimer: Although UEFA has taken all reasonable care that the information contained within this document is accurate at the time of publication, no representation or guarantee (including liability towards third parties), expressed or implied, is made as to its accuracy, reliability or completeness. Therefore, UEFA assumes no liability for the use or interpretation of information contained herein. More information can be found in the competition regulations available on