Our prediction for this Euro 2024 match:
Croatia will look to recover from a heart-breaking defeat to Wales when they face Latvia at Skonto stadions in their penultimate group game. Luka Modric came as a substitute in Real Madrid’s 5-1 win over Valencia at the weekend, but the experienced midfielder is widely expected to start for Croatia in Saturday’s qualifier. Dinamo Zagreb Bruno Petkovic remains in the recovery room, while Andrej Kramaric is back to the squad.
The Latvians, on the other hand, experienced all sorts of problems at the back in a 4-0 loss to Turkey and seeing that they are stuck at the bottom of the table, anything but a routine away victory would be a big sensation. Latvia defender Marcis Oss should be recalled to the starting XI after serving his one-game ban in the last group game. When the two teams in Rijeka in September Croatia rolled over Latvia 5-0.
Highlighted Player (Luka Modric):
Luka Modric is regarded as one of the best central midfielders in world football. The Croatian ace is a product of Dinamo Zagreb’s youth school and it has to be noted that he played 94 league games for the Modri between 2003 and 2008. In 2008 he signed a six-year deal with Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of £16.5 million.
Luka made his Tottenham debut on 16 August, 2008 in a 2-1 loss to Middlesbrough at Riverside Stadium. The Croatian star scored only 13 goals in 127 league appearances for the Spurs, but he is well known for his brilliant passing. In 2012 he signed for Real Madrid for a fee of £30 million and he made his debut against Barcelona in the 2012 Spanish Super Cup, return leg.
Modric quickly established himself as a first-team regular and, no doubt, he helped the capital club win two Champions League trophies (2013/2014, 2015/2016). You should bear in mind that he was named Croatian Footballer of the Year in 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2014.
Highlighted Team (Latvia):
Latvia is yet another former Soviet republic. The Latvian footballers played for the Soviet Union national team until 1992 and they have been playing for Latvia ever since. The Sarkanbaltsarkanie (Red-white-red) did remarkably well to qualify for the Euro 2004 finals, but they failed to impress at the showpiece tournament in Portugal.
Latvia kicked off their Euro 2004 campaign with a 2-1 loss to Czech Republic and they managed to hold Germany to a goalless draw in their second group game. The former Soviet republic suffered a 3-0 loss to Netherlands in their last game in Group D and, as a result, they did not make it to the knockout stages of the European Championship finals.
Latvia suffered their biggest defeat on May 29, 1927 when they were beaten by Sweden 12-0 in Stockholm. Speaking of their biggest victory, the Latvians outclassed Lithuania 5-0 on two occasions. The Latvian national football team play their home games at Skonto stadium in Riga and the capacity of the venues is 9.500.