Croatia vs Latvia Match Analysis & Prediction
08/09/2023 9:45 pm
Unbeaten after two matches, Croatia play host to Latvia at Stadion HNK Rijeka on Friday as both sides return to Euro 2024 qualifying action.
The hosts occupy third place in Group D, two points adrift of the top two, while the visitors find themselves rock bottom of the standings following three straight losses.
While the other teams in Group D have played three of four matches, Croatia have only played twice due to their participation in June’s UEFA Nations League Finals, but they still find themselves in a strong position after taking four points from a possible six.
Following a 1-1 draw with Wales in their opening qualifier, the Checkered Ones claimed a 2-0 victory over Turkey in Bursa, with Manchester City new boy Mateo Kovacic bagging a first-half brace to seal the points for his side.
Three months later, Zlatko Dalic’s side secured a 4-2 extra-time victory over the Netherlands in the semi-finals of the Nations League, although they eventually fell short in the final, playing out a goalless draw with Spain before losing on penalties.
Croatia have lost just one of their last 17 matches inside 90 minutes, suffering a 3-0 defeat to eventual champions Argentina in the World Cup semi-finals back in December before clinching the bronze medal in Qatar.
Since taking charge in 2017, Dalic has guided Croatia to a World Cup final and a World Cup third-place playoff, cementing the Checkered Ones’ status as one of the most successful national teams of the modern era.
By contrast, Latvia have failed to win any of their previous eight matches inside 90 minutes, beating Estonia on penalties in the Baltic Cup semi-finals back in November before suffering spot-kick heartache against Iceland in the final.
Dainis Kazakevics’ side have since recorded four successive defeats, with a 3-2 friendly loss to Republic or Ireland in March preceding three disappointing Euro 2024 qualifying losses.
Given that Latvia have managed to win just 21 of their 75 European Championship qualifiers over the years – recording 13 draws and 41 losses in the process – the 11 Wolves look destined to endure another unsuccessful qualification campaign.
Croatia vs. Latvia Head to head
Croatia have won each of the four previous meetings between these two teams, scoring 10 goals and conceding just one in the process.
24/03/2001Croatia4Latvia1UEFA World Cup Qualifiers
06/06/2001Latvia0Croatia1UEFA World Cup Qualifiers
Croatia Team News
Six members of Croatia’s 23-man squad have 80+ caps to their name, including Mateo Kovacic, Marcelo Brozovic and Andrej Kramaric.
Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic and Domagoj Vida have all made more than a century of international appearances.
Croatia's Last 5 Matches
17/12/2022Croatia2Morocco1FIFA World Cup
14/06/2023Netherlands2Croatia4(E)UEFA Nations League
18/06/2023Croatia0Spain0(P)UEFA Nations League
Latvia Team News
Latvia’s Kaspars Dubra, Roberts Savalnieks and Janis Ikaunieks are the only three players possessing 50+ international caps.
At the age of just 21, Spezia forward Raimonds Krollis has already represented his country on 31 occasions, scoring three goals in the process, while 22-year-old captain Kristers Tobers has 24 caps under his belt.
Latvia's Last 5 Matches
22/03/2023Republic of Ireland3Latvia2Friendlies
Croatia vs. Latvia: Odds and Predictions
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