However, for the Baltic nation the game is the start of a rebuilding process after finishing bottom of their Euro 2016 qualifying group.
Such was the magnitude of the achievement from Michael O'Neill's men in reaching next year's finals in France that former Northern Ireland defensive stalwart Gerry Taggart suggested that the IFA should award the former Shamrock Rovers boss a new four-year deal.
The IFA is accustomed to offering contracts which only cover each two-year international cycle, but the 46-year-old is keen to guide the Green and White Army through to at least the end of qualification for the 2020 European Championships.
Taggart, who was capped 51 times, thinks that making Euro 2016 is "worth another two years in itself" and warned Northern Ireland's governing body to act fast or risk losing O'Neill to club football in time to come.
Indeed, Norn Iron are currently unbeaten in seven matches. It is the best run since the team of the mid-'80s, which was captained by veteran keeper Pat Jennings and played in the 1986 World Cup.
Strangely, Northern Ireland are searching for their first victory in a friendly game since 2008, when they beat Georgia 4-1 in Belfast.
Recent form: DDWDWD
For the Baltic nation, the next year will be about developing a team capable of mounting a stronger bid for qualification for major tournaments, after finishing bottom of Group A.
However, O'Neill has claimed that he expects Latvia to provide a "stern test", and the Northern Ireland coach may have a point given recent results away from home.
In their last three games away from Riga, they have drawn with each of the qualifiers from the group, including coming from two goals down to draw with surprise qualifiers Iceland in Reykjavik last month.
Nevertheless, Latvia ended the qualifying campaign without a win and, courtesy of defeat against minnows Kazakhstan, ultimately finished below the nation, who have only won nine competitive games in their history.
If they are to mount a serious push under current boss Marian Pahars they will need to address a leaky defence - which conceded 19 in qualifying, albeit with six of those in one match against the Netherlands - as well as finding more goals at the other end of the pitch.
Recent form: DLDLDL
Red Devils defender Paddy McNair is also sidelined with an abdominal injury, but has still joined up with O'Neill's squad.
Meanwhile, Latvia's hopes of picking up a first win in six games may rest on 21-year-old striker Valerijs Sabala, who netted three goals in his country's curtailed Euro 2016 campaign.
Northern Ireland possible starting lineup:
McGovern; Evans, McAuley, Cathcart, Hodson; Norwood, Baird, Davis; McGinn, Lafferty, Dallas
Latvia possible starting lineup:
Vaņins, Maksimenko, Dubra, Gabovs, Gorkss, Laizans, Visnakovs, Cauna, Zjuzins, Sabala, Rakels
Head To Head
Latvia only came into being as a football team before qualifying for the 1994 World Cup, but the Green and White Army have had the better of previous encounters with the Baltic nation.
In all, Northern Ireland have won four of the six matches against the Sarkanbaltsarkanie, including a 1-0 victory in a Euro 2008 qualifier at Windsor Park, with all-time record scorer David Healy netting the only goal.
However, Latvia have won two games against Norn Iron, one courtesy of a Chris Baird own goal in September 2007 and the other a 2-1 victory in Belfast against a side featuring the likes of Iain Dowie and Keith Gillespie on the bench.
We say: Northern Ireland 3-1 Latvia
With Latvia proving stronger on their travels in recent games, O'Neill's comments about a "stern test" could be proved right. However, Northern Ireland are in the midst of their best run since the days of Billy Bingham's class of '86 and should be too good for their opponents.