Our football match prediction:
Kazakhstan will be looking to build on a 4-0 win over Andorra when they welcome Latvia at their Astana Arena. Kazakhstan aim to cement second position in the standings, whilst Latvia are eyeing their first win of the process. The Kazaks produce much better displays at home than on the travels and despite the fact that they were beaten by Georgia in their first home game of the process, we believe that there is a big value in betting on the hosts. The Latvians have yet to record a win in the UEFA Nations League and seeing that they failed to score in three of their four group games, we do not believe that they are capable of spoiling Kazakhstan’s party at Astana Arena. In their last meeting in Kazakhstan the two teams shared the spoils, but we are tempted to put our money on the hosts this time out.
Highlighted Player (Dmitri Shomko):
Born in Ekibastuz, Kazakhstan on March 19, 1990 Dmitri Andreievich Shomko is a defender who plays for Astana. Shomko is a product of his home-town club Ekibastuzets, but he started his senior career at Batyr Ekibastuz. As expected, the 182-cm tall footballer returned to his boyhood club and it has to be noted that he made nine appearances in the league for Ekibastuzets. Dmitri Shomko then moved to Irtysh Pavlodar and he played for the Kazak club from 2009 to 2014. In 2011 he was sent on loan to Astana and three years later he signed a permanent deal with the Blue and Yellows. His main position is left-back, but he is used as a left midfielder as well. Over the years Shomko has established himself as a first-team regular at Kazakhstan national football team and he made his debut for the Hawks on February 2, 2011 in a 1-1 draw with Belarus. Shomko came as a substitute for Nurgaliev in the 85th minute of the match. He has 17 caps for the U21 team as well.
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.