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Oct 8, 2021 at 7.45pm UK
LatviaLatvia
0-1
NetherlandsNetherlands
 
FT(HT: 0-1)
Klaassen (19')

Preview: Latvia vs. Netherlands - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Latvia vs. Netherlands - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Friday's World Cup Qualifying - Europe clash between Latvia and Netherlands, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Netherlands will be looking to record their third Group G victory in a row when they continue their World Cup 2022 qualification campaign away to Latvia on Friday night.

Louis van Gaal's side are currently top of the section with 13 points to show from their six matches, while Latvia occupy fifth, having collected five points from their opening six fixtures.


Match preview

Latvia have never qualified for the finals of a World Cup, while they have been present in just one European Championship, in 2004, so it was always going to be a tough task for 11 Wolves to make a serious claim to advance to the finals of the 2022 World Cup.

A record of one win, two draws and three defeats from six matches has seen them collect five points, which has left them in fifth spot in the group, already eight points behind the Netherlands and Norway in the top two spots.

Latvia opened their Group G campaign with back-to-back defeats to Montenegro and Netherlands before picking up four points from their next two fixtures against Turkey and Gibraltar.

Dainis Kazakevics's side lost again, this time at home to Norway, at the start of last month, but they will enter this match off the back of a goalless draw with Montenegro on September 7.

Latvia have lost all four of their previous international matches against the Netherlands, failing to score a single goal in the process, which is an indication of the size of their task on Friday night.

Netherlands, as mentioned, are top of the section, having won four, drawn one and lost one of their six matches to collect 13 points, but they are only ahead of second-placed Norway on goal difference.

The three-time World Cup runners-up actually lost their opening Group G fixture away to Turkey on March 24 but have been in impressive form since, overcoming Latvia, Gibraltar, Montenegro and Turkey, in addition to picking up a welcome point away to Norway on September 1.

Van Gaal's side have been particularly strong in their last two fixtures - a 4-0 win over Montenegro and a 6-1 victory over Turkey - and will therefore enter Friday's match full of confidence.

Netherlands famously failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, but they were runners-up in 2010 and also claimed third in 2014; this is not a classic Dutch side, but it is difficult to write them off in major tournaments.

The national team will have been disappointed with their performance at Euro 2020, though, as they were knocked out at the last-16 stage by the Czech Republic, who ran out 2-0 winners in Budapest.

Latvia World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • D

Latvia form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D

Netherlands World Cup Qualifying - Europe form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Netherlands form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W

Team News

Latvia will be without the services of Vladislavs Gutkovskis on Friday through suspension, which could open the door for Roberts Uldrikis to lead the attack.

The team is expected to have a similar look to the one that started the goalless draw with Montenegro last month, and there might be just the one change, with Andrejs Ciganiks coming in for Gutkovskis.

Midfielders Arturs Zjuzins and Janis Ikaunieks are the joint-leading scorers in the squad with seven each, and both are expected to be in the starting side against Van Gaal's team.

As for the Netherlands, Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum will miss the contest through injury, which could open the door for Ryan Gravenberch to play in a midfield three.

Manchester United's Donny van de Beek has been left out of the squad due to his lack of football this season, while Tottenham Hotspur attacker Steven Bergwijn is unavailable through injury.

Bergwijn's absence could allow Cody Gakpo to join Memphis Depay and Steven Berghuis in the final third of the field, while Virgil van Dijk should be joined in the middle of the defence by Stefan de Vrij.

Latvia possible starting lineup:
Ozols; Savalnieks, Cernomordijs, Dubra, Jurkovskis; Zjuzins, Emsis; Kamess, Ikaunieks, Ciganiks; Uldrikis

Netherlands possible starting lineup:
Biljow; Dumfries, De Vrij, Van Dijk, Blind; Gravenberch, F de Jong, Klaassen; Berghuis, Memphis, Gakpo


We say: Latvia 1-2 Netherlands

Latvia are capable of making this a tricky match for the Netherlands, and we are expecting a close contest on Friday night. That said, Van Gaal's side have superior quality all over the field and should have enough to put another important three points on the board.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data



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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Chelsea75111531216
2Liverpool74301761115
3Manchester CityMan City74211431114
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd7421146814
5Everton7421138514
6Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton742185314
7Brentford7331106412
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs7403610-412
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham73221410411
10Aston Villa7313109110
11Arsenal7313510-510
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves730456-19
13Leicester CityLeicester7223912-38
14Crystal Palace7142811-37
15Watford7214710-37
16Leeds UnitedLeeds7133714-76
17Southampton7043510-54
18Burnley7034511-63
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle7034816-83
20Norwich CityNorwich7016216-141
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