Albania vs England: World Cup qualifier – LIVE!

The Three Lions can start to take control of World Cup qualifying group I with victory in Tirana tonight.

A 5-0 home victory over San Marino followed by another today will open up a two-point gap at the top of the group before facing Poland in Wednesday.

Captain Harry Kane is expected to come into the team after sitting out the stroll at Wembley, while the likes of Luke Shaw, Declan Rice and Phil Foden will hope to join him.

Jesse Lingard put in a man-of-the-match display on his international return in midweek, while reinvigorated John Stones came off the bench for his first appearance since November 2019. Will both get more minutes tonight?

Concerns over both safety and surface at the Air Albania Stadium have subsided in the build-up to the game, but there remains questions over the playing surface in the newly-opened stadium.

Follow all the build-up, action and reaction with Standard Sport’s LIVE blog…

Live updates


Talking points: Faith in Pope

With established number one Jordan Pickford out injured, it was a toss-up between Dean Henderson and Nick Pope for a triple-header that Sam Johnstone joined as third man.

Pope got the nod – and avoided nodding off – against San Marino, with Southgate announcing his plans to stick with the Burnley goalkeeper against Albania and Poland.

The Three Lions boss has backed the patient 28-year-old to grab the chance to push Pickford to start at the Euros.


Talking points: Pitch problems?

As Gareth Southgate’s men cantered to a 5-0 victory against San Marino on Thursday, stories were swirling around safety and surface at the Air Albania Stadium.

State police quickly extinguished stories about safety but there remains questions over the playing surface, albeit the England boss does not seem overly concerned.

AFP via Getty Images

“I know they’ve had some problems with the pitch, as we did when Wembley first opened,” Southgate said. “But I also know they’ve been doing a lot of work on that so I’m sure it’ll be better than it was for the matches when the stadium just opened.”


Harry Kane, Declan Rice, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw were among the names left on the bench as England strolled past San Marino. All four will be desperate to get on the pitch in Albania.

Gareth Southgate has an almost embarrassment of riches in midfield, but you wouldn’t rule out Mason Mount losing his place, though Phil Foden could come into the front six.

Jude Bellingham’s lively cameo is unlikely to earn him a full start but could well come on again. Jesse Lingard will be hoping for another chance to impress after doing everything but score at Wembley.

The FA via Getty Images

Predicted line-up: Pope; Trippier, Maguire, Stones, Shaw; Rice, Mount, Foden; Lingard, Kane, Sterling


What TV channel?

TV channel: The game will be broadcast live on ITV1.

Live stream: TV licence payers can stream the match live via the ITVHub website or app.



Welcome to the Evening Standard’s LIVE coverage of the World Cup qualifier between Albania and England.

We have Dan Kilpatrick and James Robson on international duty, with kick-off scheduled for 5pm.

ES Composite

Stick with us for all the build-up, action and reaction.

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