For our Wales vs Latvia prediction, we predict a home win for Wales.
Wales will be eager to kickstart their qualification campaign on home soil against Latvia. The home fixture presents a glorious opportunity for Rob Page against one of the group's outsiders. Latvia will be no pushovers heading into this game following their recent spark of a revival.
The post-Gareth Bale era couldn't have started in the worst place for the Welsh. On the opening game of Group D, wales travelled to Croatia and escaped with a last-minute equaliser thanks to Nathan Broadhead. Broadhead's last-minute goal was Wales' only shot on target throughout the game, so they will need to establish an attacking threat against Latvia.
Gareth Bale was the symbolic figure for the Welsh National team, and since his retirement, Wales will need to find goals from elsewhere. Brennan Johnson will have a lot of responsibility on his shoulders through his club form for Nottingham Forest this season. Johnson has nine goal contributions for the newly promoted side this season. Johnson has two goals in 18 appearances for the international side. Upon Bale's departure, the captaincy has been taken over by Aaron Ramsey.
The Dragons are looking to change their fortunes in their recent form. In their last nine competitive games, they are without a win. Their most recent victory was in the final playoff game for the Qatar World Cup against Ukraine. Interestingly their previous victory over Ukraine included a goal from Gareth Bale. The last time Wales recorded a win without Bale on the scoresheet was against Belarus in 2021, where they won 5-1.
Wales' best tournament success undoubtedly came in 2016. Under Chris Coleman, the Dragons reached the semi-finals and returned home to national hero status. Portugal was on hand to end the fairytale run for Wales in Euro 2016.
It is worth noting that this will be the first-ever competitive meeting between Wales and Latvia. The only time the two nations have faced each other was in 2004 when Wales manager Rob Page was amongst the starting eleven in a 2-0 win.
Latvia could provide tricky opposition for the home side despite their ranking of 133rd in the world. The Latvians achieved promotion to the Nations League C division after a spell of four straight wins. This game will be Latvia's first qualifying game because of the number of teams in the group.
Latvia's final preparations took place in a 3-2 loss against the Republic of Ireland. Latvia's previous competitive game was in the Baltic Cup final against Iceland in November, which ended in defeat.
Latvia's only qualification to the European Championships came in 2004 - it's their only qualification for a major tournament. Latvia's chances of qualification are slim due to the UEFA-installed rule of Nations League D-based teams being denied access to the playoffs should they qualify.
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