Our prediction for this Nations League match:
Following a heart-breaking defeat to Faroe Islands, Malta will be aiming to give fans some cheer when they face Latvia at Ta’Qali National Stadium. The Maltese produced a fine display in their UEFA Nations League opener, but due to the lack of concentration at the back, they eventually conceded two late goals and suffered a loss in Torshavn. Devis Mangia’s men are eager to get back on course, and, one thing is for sure, they will leave their hearts on the field.
The Latvians failed to turn their dominance into goals in a draw with Andorra, with midfielder Janis Ikaunieks failing to convert a penalty kick. Dainis Kazakevics’s troops are not regarded as good travellers, and seeing that attacker Vladislavs Gutkovskis misses the game through suspension, we are tempted to put our money on draw. In their last meeting in a competitive match Latvia defeated Malta 2-0.
Highlighted Player (André Schembri):
Andre Schembri is a Malta international who was born in Floriana on May 27, 1986. Schembri started his youth career at his hometown club Floriana, but he played for fellow Maltese side Hibernians at the start of his senior career. The experienced attacker scored ten goals in 44 appearances for the club before joining Marsaxlokk in 2005. After spending four seasons at the club he moved to Austria Karnten in 2009 and it has to be noted that he played on loan for the likes of Eintracht Braunschweig and Calr Zeiss Jena during his spell with Marsaxlokk.
Andre Schembri did not spend too much time in Austria as he moved to Hungary in the winter of 2010, signing a deal with Ferencvaros. The Maltese striker played for the likes of Panionios, Omonia, FSV Frankfurt, Omonia and Boavista before joining Apollon Limassol in June 2017. Andre Schembri signed a two-year deal with the Cypriot side and he quickly started paying off.
You should bear in mind that the Malta international scored four goals in the 2017/2018 Europa League qualifiers and, no doubt, he helped the Cypriot side book their place in the group stages of the European competition.
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.