Rigas FS vs Larne Prediction: Latvians to punish Larne in Riga

 | Tuesday 9th July 2024, 16:07pm

Tuesday 9th July 2024, 16:07pm

champions league ball scaled

Northern Irish champions Larne get their competitive campaign underway on Wednesday as they visit Latvia in the first of what they hope to be a few Champions League qualifying ties.

Their hosts, Rigas FS, are defending champions in the Latvian Higher League and are in good form domestically, but neither of these sides have ever won a Champions League tie before. Read on for my Rigas FS vs Larne prediction, as well as the latest match odds and team news.

Rigas FS vs Larne Betting Tips

  • Rigas FS -1 handicap @ 7/5
  • Both teams to score @ 1/1

Football Odds

Team News

Rigas FS have an established starting lineup after playing 22 league games already this season, with attacker Ismael Diomande proving the main threat for the Latvians after scoring six goals in his last seven games.

Larne are likely to line up with three at the back and will be relying on the heroics of Lee Bonis and Andy Ryan, who scored 57 goals between them last term.

Rigas FS vs Larne Odds

Rigas FS are clear favourites at 4/9 for the win in their home leg, with the draw at 11/4 and Larne 11/2 to take a valuable away victory.

It is a toss-up in terms of goals, with over 2.5 goals priced at 10/11 compared to 4/5 for the ball to find the back of the net on no more than two occasions.

Rigas FS -1 handicap @ 7/5

Larne made their Champions League debut last summer in a narrow 3-2 defeat after extra-time against Finnish superpowers HJK and they could be in for another first-round exit against the reigning champions of Latvia.

Rigas beat arch-rivals Riga to the title by a single point last season but they are already seven points clear of them in the 2024 iteration, while they have history against Northern Irish sides.

The home side beat Linfield, who finished second to Larne in last season’s NIFL Premiership, on penalties on their European debut back in 2022 and went on to reach the Europa Conference League group stage, where they took points off Istanbul Basaksehir and eventual finalists Fiorentina.

This season, they have won 18 of their 22 Latvian Higher League fixtures and they will feel confident of getting their first-ever Champions League victory on Wednesday.

Larne have dominated Northern Ireland over the past couple of seasons and impressed in their European debut back in 2021, making it to the third round of the Europa Conference League qualifiers before being eliminated by Pacos de Ferreira.

That is where the good news ends in European football, though. They have failed to win their last six assignments on the continent and have not been in competitive action since April. They could fall foul of a Rigas FS side that won their last home game by a 7-0 margin.

Rigas -1 at 7-5

Both teams to score @ 1/1

Rigas FS’ 7-0 win over FS Jelgava was their first clean sheet in four games and Larne may fancy their chances of getting on the scoresheet.

The visitors scored twice at home against HJK last season and have found the net in over half their European outings over the past three seasons, so both teams to score is an appealing option.

BTTS yes at 1-1


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