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Preview: Romania v Albania

Anghel Iordănescu has urged Romania to grasp "the chance of a generation" as they vie to qualify from Group A, though Gianni De Biasi's Albania are also facing a "make-or-break scenario".

Albania coach Gianni De Biasi has urged his side to seize their chances
Albania coach Gianni De Biasi has urged his side to seize their chances ©Panoramic
  • Group A's bottom two sides meet in Lyon as Romania take on Albania
  • Romania have one point, Albania none
  • Anghel Iordănescu oversees his 100th match as head or assistant coach of Romania
  • Albania have faced Romania 16 times, more than any other nation (W2 D4 L10)
  • Romania have yet to lose in eight competitive meetings with Albania (W6 D2 L0)

Possible line-ups
Tătărușanu; Săpunaru, Chiricheș, Grigore, Raț; Prepeliță, Hoban; Torje, Stanciu, Stancu; Alibec.
Out: none
Doubtful: Pintilii, Raț, Filip (all muscle problems)
Misses next match if booked: Chiricheş, Popa, Raţ, Chipciu, Grigore, Keșerü, Prepeliţă

Albania: Berisha; Hysaj, Cana, Mavraj, Agolli; Lila, Xhaka, Kaçe, Abrashi, Lenjani; Sadiku.
Out: Kukeli (suspended)
Doubtful: Memushaj (calf)
Misses next match if booked: Kaçe, Mavraj, Abrashi

Coach quotes
Anghel Iordănescu, Romania
I ignore my number of matches with the national team. The most important thing is the objective we're pursuing. Our players have to understand that this is the chance of a generation.

Keșerü admits Romania were second best

Romanian football needs this. For years our team has not been present at EUROs and this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to obtain a result that will delight the entire country. That's why we have to be focused and avoid expending energy on useless things. The boys need to understand that they have to leave everything on the pitch to get a result.

The situation is quite delicate with our three injured players [Mihai Pintilii, Răzvan Raț and Steliano Filip]. It's difficult to say now what's happening, but since the match against Switzerland they've been following a separate training programme coordinated by our medics. They won't have a normal session today, and tomorrow we'll make a final decision.

Gianni De Biasi, Albania
The players have done a lot of good things so far. Unfortunately we've paid dearly for our mistakes. And when we've had chances, perhaps we haven't been experienced enough to build on what we've done in the game. I've said to the guys, "If you want to carry on in this competition, you have to take advantage of your chances."

We need to be focused on the defensive side because Romania are strong from set pieces. They're very solid and similar to us in terms of mentality. We've prepared well and we'll try to play the perfect game tomorrow because we have to win.

Everyone has been pleased and surprised by the quality of our football. But if you don't get results, people will not look at the performance. We know the importance of working together as a team. Tomorrow is a make-or-break scenario. We'll have to challenge each other in a serious way.

UEFA.com team reporters
Paul Zaharia, Romania (@UEFAcomPaulDZ)
"It's life or death, one or the other," said forward Florin Andone as he summed up Romania's position. A draw is not an option, but with left-backs Raţ and Filip – and sweeper Pintilii – all doubtful, Iordănescu has a few extra problems to ponder. Albania have been uncompromising opponents so far; will Romania get drawn into a battle or do they have something clever up their sleeves?

Everything you need to know about Albania in 30 seconds

Fatjon Pandovski, Albania (@UEFAcomTonyP)
After losing two very emotional matches, it's win or go home for Albania. De Biasi must decide whether to field two forwards – one as a pure attacker in Armando Sadiku and maybe Shkëlzen Gashi right behind – or stick to his usual 4-5-1 and have Lorik Cana replace Burim Kukeli as a holding midfielder. Meanwhile, with Ledian Memushaj's fitness in doubt, will Taulant Xhaka return to a starting role? There are many ifs to be answered as Albania head into their most important game.

Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)

Did you know?
Romania boasted the best defensive record in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying, conceding just twice in their ten outings and making it to the finals unbeaten (W5 D5). Find out more in our extensive match background.

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