With San Marino awaiting England in their final qualifier next week, Gareth Southgate’s side can all but guarantee automatic qualification with a result at Wembley against an Albania side chasing Poland in second.
Four points are all that is needed to see England safely into the World Cup, but anything less than six points from their two internationals this week will be a huge surprise. Despite slip-ups to Hungary and Poland in the last two international windows, England have often made light work of the smaller nations across Europe in recent qualifications campaigns.
Albania’s defeat at home to Poland in their last qualifier all but ended any hopes they had of making it into the play-offs ahead of the Poles, as Poland’s fixtures are extremely favourable compared to Albania’s, while also sitting two points ahead. Despite putting up a good showing in this group, they are not as good as the team who reached the Euro 2016 finals, and they were comfortably beaten by England in the reverse tie back in March.
England have recorded numerous high-scoring wins already this year, with five wins by four or more goals in 2021.