Euro 2016 Qualifying (Group stage) Match Preview: Latvia vs. Iceland

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Updated: October 9, 2014
Iceland euro

Match Date: 10 October 2014 (local)

Match Venue: Skonto stadions, Riga

(Featured image: Iceland | Source: sportsonearth.com)

 

The most recent meeting that Latvia and Iceland have engaged in was seven years ago, with the former winning all the spoils. In three earlier matches (held between 1998 and 2006), however, the sides were rendered even—with four points apiece.

 

Latvia

Latvia opened their campaign for a place in the Euro 2016 final with a 0-0 encounter with Kazakhstan in the qualifications. This was preceded by three consecutive victories they obtained from two Baltic Cup matches and in a friendly.

 

Latvia’s defense is more than enough to keep them free of any goal deficit as of their last four fixtures, but there is something lacking about the side that makes them a little off at prestigious competitions like the World Cup and the Euro. In fact, they have never been in a final at the FIFA tournament and were only qualified for the Euro once, in 2004.

 

Iceland

Iceland entered the Euro 2016 Group stage qualifiers with a magnificent debut. The side trounced Turkey 3-0, leading Kolbeinn Sigthorsson to declare his side’s performance to be “perfect” and team coach Lars Lagerback to be deeply thrilled. It served as their third consecutive non-losing match since their friendly with Austria.

 

“I think we had a really, really good game,” said Lagerback. “I am impressed by the players, we prepared the whole week… In the second half we controlled it well and were very effective, and I am very satisfied with the players.”

 

Football betting tip: Latvia will succumb to Iceland.