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Monday, 22 October, 2018

Improving Estonia could edge tight Baltic battle

Latvia look a soft touch

Estonia have had some decent results recently
1 of 1

International friendly
Monday, 5.45pm

All of the last five meetings between Latvia and Estonia have ended in draws but the series of stalemates could come to an end in Riga, where the Estonians look overpriced to snatch an away win.

As expected, both Baltic minnows are struggling in World Cup qualifying.

Estonia lost 2-0 at home to Belgium on Friday, leaving them fifth of six teams in Group H with four points from six games.

And Latvia have slipped to the bottom of Group B after a 3-0 defeat at home to Portugal.

Latvia probably knew that reaching Russia 2018 would be a nigh-on impossible task but they might have expected to finish at least as high as fourth in a weak section which features the Faroe Islands and Andorra.

To be below both of those sides after six games is a bit of an embarrassment and continues a trend of decline which has seen the Latvians slip from 45th to 122nd on the Fifa rankings over the last eight years.

Estonia are perched 24 places higher at 98 and have started 2017 in a positive fashion.

They excelled in March, following up a solid 0-0 World Cup qualifying draw away to Cyprus with a remarkable 3-0 victory over Croatia in a friendly in Tallinn.

A loss to Belgium was to be expected but Estonia can take heart from keeping the score respectable despite losing midfielder Artjom Dimitrijev to a red card in the 44th minute.

Unlike Latvia, they seem to be making tentative steps in the right direction and they look the likelier winners of what promises to be a very tight, low-scoring Baltic derby.

Recommendation
Estonia
1pt 11-5 bet365

Bet on this match at Soccerbase.com

They excelled in March, following up a solid 0-0 World Cup qualifying draw away to Cyprus with a remarkable 3-0 victory over Croatia
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