Latvia vs Portugal
Competition: Europe World Cup Qualifying
Date: 9 June 2017
Kick-off: 20:45 CET
If you click on the previews of the other two group B matches, you’ll see that I expect the underdog to earn a draw either in Faroe Islands vs Switzerland or Andorra vs Hungary. In both cases, my hunch comes from the feeling that the ‘small’ home teams have shown they can put in a pretty decent fight, while the ‘big’ visitors have shown signs either of… weakness, or, in Switzerland’s case, of ‘slowing down’, after their impressive start in the qualifiers. All this intro, just to say that in this game, Latvia are not… giving me anything to imagine them earn a point, let alone win. They’ve lost 2-0 both their home games so far to the Faroe Islands and Hungary, and generally they looked as if they are making steps backwards, instead of making at least baby steps forward.
European champions Portugal started their qualifying campaign with a 2-0 defeat in Switzerland, but they have definitely bounced back, in truly impressive style. Six goals over Andorra, as much against the Faroe Islands, four versus Latvia, three while hosting Hungary in their last game. Even a few days ago they beat Cyprus 4-0 in a friendly game, despite playing with a super alternative lineup. Cristiano Ronaldo joined the group on Wednesday, after being given a few days off following Real Madrid’s triumph in the Champions League final. Portugal should win even without him, but having him available is definitely a bonus for coach Fernando Santos. Midfielder Joao Mario got injured in Wednesday’s training, and is unavailable.
Latvia vs Portugal: Head-to-head Stats
Latvia have hosted Portugal twice before, and have lost both times. Generally they have faced the Portuguese five times, and have never managed to avoid defeat.
Latvia vs Portugal: Prediction
Not even the timing gives me a reason to back Latvia to earn a shocking positive result. I mean, if it was winter, late autumn, early spring, if the weather in Riga was… ‘weird’, maybe that would give them a welcome bonus. Not even that. Portugal should win, and I will be very surprised if they score less than two goals.
Latvia vs Portugal: Tips
Portugal’s win pays just 1.11. ‘Over 2.5 goals’ is at 1.47. If you find a bookie that accepts ‘Portugal and over 2.5 goals’, you can expect better than 1.47. Just for the fun of it, I would bet on Portugal to win 4-0. This pays 7.00.