On Thursday, the matchup between Latvia vs Moldova will take place in Latvia, which will serve as the host nation since it is a member of the UEFA Nations League.
If the team playing at home can avoid losing, they will have a chance to compete in the third and final stage of the tournament that is being hosted in Europe, if they meet the requirements to do so.
To even have a remote possibility of overtaking its competitors and coming in first place in Group 1, Moldova has to start by winning in Riga. Only then will they have a shot at doing so. They have no other choice than to carry out the action.
Match Preview: Latvia vs Moldova
Latvia is on the verge of participating at a level more suitable to their reputation if they win against Moldova on Thursday. Latvia slipped to 148th in the FIFA World Ranking in September 2017.
But Dainis Kazakevics has overseen steady improvement since taking charge in January 2020. They’ve won all four of their Nations League matches so far. Even a draw versus second-place Moldova would get them into League C.
Finishing first would strengthen their prospects of reaching their second European Championship. Kazakevics must first ensure his men avoid complacency against their Skonto Stadium opponents.
Even if they lose, they still have Sunday to put Andorra away. Moldova was demoted from League C after earning only one point in six games against Slovenia, Greece, and Kosovo.
Serghei Cleșcenco has only won two of his eight matches in command of the nation he played for 69 times. His side’s 4-2 loss to Latvia in June has left them needing to win the return leg to return to League C at the first attempt.
Failing to top the group would also make it difficult for them to reach a maiden major international tournament unless they can pull off something special in next year’s routine qualifiers.
Moldovan football plummeted to 182nd in the FIFA World Rankings only months before Clescenco’s hiring. The 50-year-old will urgently want to revive his country with an away victory on Thursday before a winnable home fixture against Liechtenstein on Sunday.
Team News: Latvia vs Moldova
In the match that Latvia will play against Moldova on Thursday, Krisjanis Zviedris, Emils Birka, Daniels Balodis, and Maksims Toisevs will each have the chance to make their debut for Latvia in an international game.
Despite this, it’s possible that Kazakevics will stick with the same starting eleven that breezed over Liechtenstein back in June.
Any potential adjustments that might be made for the weekend match against Andorra are more likely to be implemented provided that his side achieves the desired results against Moldova in the primary position of importance.
Since the previous time Moldova played, they have acquired seven new players to their roster, one of them being Artur Ionita, a midfielder for Pisa. Seven additional players have been added to Moldova’s squad.
As a result of Vadim Rata’s accumulation of yellow cards, Ionita may start Thursday’s match against Latvia in the midfield, giving him the opportunity to win his 62nd international cap.
Other than that, Cleșcenco will preserve the bulk of the starting XI that defeated Andorra by a score of 2-1 in their most recent encounter, which took place in June.
- Latvia’s Likely Starting Lineup: Steinbors, Savalnieks, Cernomordijs, Dubra, Jurkovskis, Ikaunieks, Zjunins, Tobers, Ciganiks, Gutkovskis, Uldrikis.
- Moldova’s Likely Starting Lineup: Railean, Craciun, Bolohan, Armas, Jardan, Ionita, Caimacov, Reabciuk, Motpan, Nicolaescu, Cojocaru.
Our Prediction: Latvia 2-1 Moldova
Because both Latvia and Moldova have formidable attackers around whom they can construct their offense, notably Vladislavs Gutkovskis and Ion Nicolaescu, respectively, it is reasonable to anticipate a high number of goals when the two teams meet on Thursday in Riga.
The game will take place on Thursday. The home side, on the other hand, is in much better shape as they go into this match, and they also have the benefit of being able to play for a draw if that is what they decide they want to do.
As a consequence of these aspects, there is a good chance that the home side will eventually prevail over its rivals and remove them from the competition.
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