Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Prediction: Latvia vs Holland

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions, World Cup 6 Oct 2021

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Verdict: Holland win to nil

Best Odds: 8/13

Bookmaker: Unibet

Smelling a real chance on foreign soil this week, Holland will turn their attention back to World Cup qualifying duties when they make the trip out to Latvia on Friday night.

Latvia

Starting with the hosts, while Latvia might have been last seen landing a gritty 0-0 stalemate away at Montenegro, Dainis Kazakevičs’ side will know that they are still in need of a minor miracle. Heavily outplayed in Podgorica on September 7th and knowing that they were lucky to have left with a point to show for their troubles, the Wolves still find themselves sat fifth in the Group G table. Despite gaining a reputation for their rather rugged approach this year, Latvia have managed to win just one of their six qualifying contests, with that sole victory coming against a rock-bottom Gibraltar last month. However, knowing that they will face an overwhelming test on home soil this week, Kazakevičs men do hold what is a worrying record against Friday’s guests. Dominated when they made the trip to Amsterdam on March 23rd and hit with a deserved 2-0 defeat, they have lost each of their previous four meetings against Holland by an aggregate score of 13-0.

Team News

Aside from welcoming in the trio of Dainis Kazakevics, Arturs Zjuzins and Roberts Uldrikis to their set-up, Latvia boss Dainis Kazakevič has gone with the same squad as September’s international break.

Facing a monumental ask this weekend, Latvia will at least be boosted by the fact they have no injuries or suspensions to worry about.

Holland

As for the visitors, although Holland might have endured a sluggish return to the major tournament stage over the summer, the former European heavyweights have managed to find their feet under a returning boss. Turning back to one-time Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, the Dutch find themselves sat in pole position to book a spot at next year’s World Cup finals. With Norway unable to call upon their attacking talisman Erling Haaland during October’s international break, Holland find their goal difference keeping them at the top of Group G. Smelling a golden chance to lay down another marker on foreign soil this weekend, Friday’s guests were last seen putting in a pair of thumping displays. Breezing their way to a thumping 6-1 romp against Turkey, the Oranges have now claimed back-to-back qualifying victories, bagging 10 goals. With a squad that includes some heavyweight names, there is no doubt that Holland rightfully open this week’s meeting as a landslide pick.

Team News

In what is a real boost for the Dutch, Liverpool skipper Virgil van Dijk has made his return to Louis van Gaal’s squad this month.

Likewise, the likes of Frenkie de Jong, Memphis Depay, Matthijs de Ligt, and new PSG ace Georginio Wijnaldum could feature on Friday night.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the two sides faced off back in March, Holland picked up a routine 2-0 victory on home soil.
    • In fact, Friday’s guests have won all four of their previous meetings against Latvia, winning by an aggregate score of 13-0.
    • Dutch striker Memphis Depay has scored seven qualifying goals so far and is averaging a goal every 77 minutes.
    • Continuing on from their last qualifying run, Latvia have won just a pair of their previous 15 attempts.
    • 10 of Latvia’s last 11 qualifying matchups on home soil have finished with over 2.5 goals.

    Conclusion

    Managing to make some real improvements since bringing back new boss Louis van Gaal, there is no doubt that Holland will be smelling a golden opportunity this weekend. With Norway missing their attacking icon during October’s international fixtures, the Oranges will be looking to carry on from where they left off last month. Last seen picking up back-to-back 4-0 and 6-1 romps against Montenegro and Turkey, the one-time Manchester United boss finds his side sat in pole position to secure a spot at next year’s World Cup finals. Winning all four of their previous meetings against Latvia by an aggregate score of 13-0, it is hard to see anything other than a routine night’s work for the Group G leaders here.

    Verdict: Holland win to nil

    Best Odds: 8/13

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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