The story of Albania football team has been nothing short of fairytale in the ongoing Euro 2016 qualifiers, where they are the only side in Group I to have remained unbeaten. With Serbia, Portugal, Denmark and Armenia being the other teams in the group, they were looked upon as the weakest side in the group.
However, Albania could well clinch an automatic berth for the Euro Cup 2016 in France as they presently lie in third position, tied with Denmark on 11 points, and a point away from table-toppers Portugal.
Albania grabbed headlines after they defeated Portugal in September last year, hence Cristiano Ronaldo and his men will be eager to take revenge when these two teams clash on Monday at Elbasan Arena in Albania. The winner in the Portugal vs Albania clash will stand atop of the table as well, which will spur both the teams to do well in this fixture.
However, Portugal are set to miss two of their stars -- João Moutinho and William Carvalho -- due to injuries. As a result of which coach Fernando Santos might offer a start to Danilo Pereira, who was snapped up by Porto during the summer transfer window, against Albania.
"Everything is happening very fast, but it has been a positive change in my life," UEFA official website quoted Pereira as saying.
Pereira will be eager to make full use of the opportunity and cement his place in the Portugal squad.
"I'm seizing the moment, because that is the only way I can grow as a player. This is the way for me. I want to be at the EURO and I will work for that. I have my own qualities as a player, different from others, and I feel that I am a valid option."
But, Portugal, as always, will depend on the quality of Cristiano Ronaldo, who missed the loss to Albania last time around. Even if Ronaldo has an off-day, other players in the squad such as Nani and Ricardo Quaresma need to step up their game and help them avoid a second loss to Albania.
Portugal will be eager to secure three points, which will help them take four-point lead at the top of the group.
However, Albania, who have never qualified for World Cup nor Euros in the past, come into this game full of confidence, after they held Denmark to a goalless draw and also defeated France in a friendly.
Where to Watch Live
Portugal vs Albania Euro 2016 Qualifier match is scheduled for 8.45pm local time (12.15am IST, 7.45pm BST, 2.45pm ET) start with live streaming online on Livsports.
Viewers in the US can catch Portugal vs Albania Euro 2016 Qualifier match live on ESPN 3 USA and live streaming on ESPN.
Viewers in the UK can enjoy the live coverage of Portugal vs Albania Euro 2016 Qualifier match live on Sky Sports with an option of going online on Sky Go.
Australia audience can catch Portugal vs Albania Euro 2016 Qualifier match live on ESPN 2 Australia.