Scotland v Albania: Visiting boss Christian Panucci insists his side are 'coming to win'

Christian Panucci (left) watches as his header beats Craig Gordon in Italy's win over Scotland in 2007
Christian Panucci (left) watches as his header beats Craig Gordon in Italy's win over Scotland in 2007
Nations League: Scotland v Albania
Venue: Hampden Park, Glasgow Date: Monday, 10 September Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Listen live on Radio Scotland & online; text commentary on BBC Sport website & app

The night Scotland's dreams of reaching Euro 2008 ended nearly 11 years ago was "probably the best night of my career", says Albania coach Christian Panucci.

The former Italy defender's injury-time header earned the visitors a 2-1 qualifying win over Alex McLeish's side at Hampden.

And he wants to beat the Scotland boss again in Monday's Nations League tie.

"We will give them the utmost of respect but we will try and win the game," said Panucci.

McLeish was the manager as Panucci's goal sent Italy to Euro 2008 instead of Scotland in November 2007.

The first competitive game of his second spell in charge on Monday sees McLeish's men face Albania, who beat Israel 1-0 at home on Friday in their opening Nations League fixture.

Scotland lost 4-0 in a friendly to Belgium on the same night, and Panucci says his team can capitalise on their fragility.

"The Scots will be suffering after the defeat and will be low on confidence," said the Italian, speaking through an interpreter.

"We know Scotland have good quality and are difficult to play against."

Panucci said he will make changes from the win over Israel in a bid to freshen up his team.

"We know our strengths and weakness but we come here to win the game," added the 45-year-old.

"This is a completely different game [from Israel]. We will have different tactics but we won't be playing the long ball. If we make the same mistakes as we did against Israel, Scotland will punish us dearly.

"I don't think there is a favourite for the group but clearly if we win, it gives us a big advantage. We need to be ready to win."

'Albania play as a team' - Analysis

Former Celtic, St Johnstone and Albania player Rudi Vata on Radio Scotland:

It is going to be a difficult game for Albania but they think there is the possibility to get the three points as well.

It is going to be tight. It will be won by the team who are better organised, and who are more hungry and determined.

Albania have a lot of players with experience of different European leagues, but their main strength is they play as a team. They don't have big stars or fantastic players who can change a game.

They are very well organised and have a fantastic team spirit as they showed at Euro 2016, but it isn't the same team as then.

One or two of the older players have left the national team and there is a bit of a transition at the moment. This competition is going to give some experience to the younger boys coming into the team.


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