Out of the current 54 members of the UEFA, Estonia has played most games against Latvia (52) for obvious geographical reasons.
After Latvia, the next in line is, ca va sans dire, Lithuania: 44 matches between the two Baltic republics since 1923 (first friendly game in Kaunas, a 5-0 demolition inflicted by Estonia) until 2012 when they met last time at the Baltic Cup (1-0 for Estonia in Tartu).
In between, 42 derbies that have consolidated the rivalry.
Few years ago, Lithuania was ahead of the other two countries in the FIFA ranking, however, since a couple of years, the table has been overturned.
Estonia regularly tops it (they are currently 81st ) and Lithuania follows after Latvia (103rd, Latvia is 99th ).
When they were drawn to Estonia in February, Lithuania already singled out this ‘derby’ as a chance to catch up with the Estonian ‘neighbours’ and eventually grab important points for their ambitious plan: reaching the play-off spot (third place) in group E.
It is a plan also Estonians have, therefore the opposing ambitions will certainly add spice to the game taking place at LFF Stadium in Vilnius.
HOW DOES THE BALANCE LOOK LIKE?
It is pretty even: 18 wins for Lithuania, 18 for Estonia and 8 draws among friendly games, Baltic Cup fixtures and European Cup qualifiers.
27 games were played between the two world wars and the remaining after regained independence in 1991.
Estonia and Lithuania have never come across at World Cup qualifiers.
LITHUANIAN UPPER HAND IN EUROPEAN QUALIFIERS
In 1995 (for England ’96) they won both ties in Tallinn (0-1) and Vilnius (5-0).
In the same year, in Riga, at the Baltic Cup, Lithuania had already inflicted to Estonia their worst defeat in this head-to-head statistics: 7-0! They made it even with the 6-0 suffered in Tallinn in 1928.
The second chance at the European Cup qualifiers came in 1999 (Holland-Belgium 2000) when Estonia won away to Lithuania (2-1 in Vilnius) and Lithuania paid the favour back with an identical result.
Since then, the balance is fixed to the following:
Lithuania 3 wins, 9 goals scored
Estonia 1 win, 3 goals scored
GOALSCORERS AT THE EUROPEAN QUALIFIERS
3 Maciulevicius (LTU)
2 Śuika (LTU) and Terehhov (EST, a brace in the only win)
1 Slekys (LTU), Ivanauskas (LTU), Fomenka (LTU), Ramelis (LTU) and Oper (EST, Estonian all-time topscorer)
- Terehhov brace in Vilnius on the 31st of March 1999 gave Estonia the first ever away win in European qualifiers (Estonian have never reached a final tournament, only the play-offs in 2011)
- The loss in Kadriorg stadium on the 9th of June 1999 happened for Estonia’s 200th international game (the one in Vilnius on the 9th of October will be the 397th game).
- The 5-0 loss on the 11th of October 1995 was Estonia’s 150th international game.
- The 5-0 represented the end of Roman Ubakivi’s tenure as he left the Estonian coach job with 21 defeats and 1 draw in 22 games, and with what would have been and still is, the most negative streak of losses: 13 in a row (from 1994 till 1995).
Sources: www.jalgpall.ee and 'Estonian Football: 100 years'