De Biasi: France will not underestimate us


Albania boss Gianni De Biasi is adamant France will not underestimate his side in Marseille on Wednesday despite suggestions the hosts will rest a host of key players.

Having won their opening match against Romania, France will be expected to brush aside De Biaisi's men before facing Switzerland in a clash that could decide which team tops Group A.

In their last two friendly meetings, however, Albania have emerged with a win and a draw and De Biasi is anticipating Deschamps to play his big guns.

He said: "I don't think they will [underestimate us], because I think we are well known now. We played against them twice, in November 2014 and June last year, I think they know us pretty well.

"They won't underestimate us and will go on the pitch with great determination as they will face a team that will make the most of anything they give us."

Albania were unlucky to lose their opening game to Switzerland, despite the first-half dismissal of captain Lorik Cana.

"That should not discourage us," added De Biasi. "We held firm against a team with a higher ranking than us. We were disappointed with the result but not the performance.

"Against France, we will try to limit their play as much as possible and then break when we get the chance.

"We will try to make as few mistakes as possible as ultimately you can be made to pay dear from a defensive and attacking perspective."

De Biasi accepted France will start as overwhelming favourites at the Stade Velodrome and called on his players to give everything.

"France is a big country and they have a big population. This gives them a huge catchment area. France are one of the best teams in the world, they are odds-on favourites, we will try to do everything possible," he said.

"We've found our way of playing, we will defend and then try to break. I enjoyed Romania's performance, they gave France a lot of problems and we will try to do the same.

"We don't have big-name players but we can play well as a team. Without this we can lose to any team in the world. Everyone needs to make a small contribution."

Ansi Agolli will captain the side in Cana's absence and admitted he was excited at being given the opportunity.

"I couldn't sleep properly when I heard the coach was going to name me as captain," he said. "It's a big responsibility and the dream of every Albanian footballer to be the captain.

"We are well prepared. I don't know whether this will be their second team but we will do our best regardless of the opposition."