With few weeks left to Estonia’s next game (a friendly against Sweden on the 4th of September) the Swedish coach of the Estonian national team has named the 33 players that will take part to the trip to his home country and the debut in the Euro 2016 qualifiers against Slovenia.
Goalkeepers: no surprise and Marko Meerits back
Besides the usual start Sergei Pareiko (Volga Nizhni Novgorod – RUS) and the duo Pavel Londak (Bodo/Glimt – NOR) and Mihkel Aksalu (SJK – FIN) Pehrsson brings back former Flora and Vitesse Arnhem Marko Meerits, now at FC Emmen (NED).
Of the four shot stoppers, Pareiko is the one with most caps, 57. However, contrary to the other three, at the moment he is not finding place in the starting XI of his club.
Defenders: a lot of Premium Liiga acts
It is not a secret that Magnus Pehrsson has been following tightly the events of the domestic Estonian league and been spot at big games. Besides Flora, Levadia and Nõmme Kalju he has also praised the good work made by FC Infonet, giving the impression that, in future, a call for one of them might come as well. For now the defense will feature the likes of Levadia’s Artjom Artjunin (CD) and Artur Pikk (LB), Nõmme Kalju’s Alo Bärengrub (CD), Ken Kallaste (LB) and Mikk Reintam (CD) with veteran Taavi Rähn (CD) being the only FC Flora player. The rest of the call-ups are the usual players plying their trade abroad: Captain Ragnar Klavan (CD, FC Augsburg – GER), Igor Morozov (CD, Debreceni VSC – HUN), Taijo Teniste (LB, Sogndal Fotboll – NOR) and Gert Kams (RB , SJK – FIN). The only player still without a club is RB Enar Jääger.
In a 4-2-3-1 formation, Klavan and Morozov in the middle with Teniste on the left and Jääger on the right should compose the probable starting defence line. Both Teniste and Jääger might fight for a place with Kallaste and Kams.
Midfielders: the ‘pirloization’ of Mets continues
Even though he plays as a central defender at FC Flora, Karol Mets has been entered into the midfielders’ list once again. As spokern by Estonian FA chairman, the ‘pirloization’ of Karol Mets goes on. His potential as defensive midfielder in the 4-2-3-1 was already seen when he was in Denmark on trial at FC Copenhagen. Pehrsson picked up Karol already in this role and has tried him several times. However, if he will be already enough fit during the next two weeks, he might opt to field Aleksandr Dmitrijev (DM, Levadia), defined by the FA chairman as the ‘Estonian answer to Andrea Pirlo’. The big question over the Levadia’s defensive midfielder is whether he will have enough games under his belt.
So far he has played four games in Premium Liiga collecting 243 minutes. Levadia will have three more league games and a cup game against an amateur league club, which will account more for a training than a competitive challenge. Pehrsson might opt to try them both against Sweden, one each half.
The remaining call-ups are another couple of Levadia players as Dmitri Kruglov (LM) and Ilja Antonov (CM) and Nõmme Kalju’s Martin Vunk (AM). Ats Purje (LM, KuPS – FIN) is also in the list and is the main choice for the left flank considering his splendid form in Finland and Kruglov not having collected a single appearance since he returned to Levadia.
Sergei Zenjov (a striker) has been included in the list of midfielders along with players without a club: Siim Luts (LM), Kostantin Vassiljev (AM) and Sergei Mośnikov (CM).
Joel Lindpere (LM, Banik Ostrava – CZE) is back into the national team.
Strikers: no call for Liivak and both Anier brothers in
Frank Liivak is not even in the strikers’ list. After his positive debut in May, Magnus Pehrsson has decided not to call the SSC Napoli Primavera player for September. Turned 18 in July, Liivak will probably be in the waiting list in case someone will get injured.
After splitting for a while, the Anier brothers are also keeping hand in hand at national team’s level since Pehrsson called both Henri and Hannes recently settled in 2.Bundesliga (FC Erzgebirge Aue – GER). Henrik Ojamaa is returning back to the national team after a turbulent period with his former club (Legia Warsaw – POL) before happily return to Scotland at his ‘home’, Motherwell FC. Another call for Rimo Hunt travelling from central Asia since he is settled at KAZ club Kaysar Kyzylorda. Assyriska FF (SWE) striker, Kaimar Saag, is also part of the mission together with the only Premium Liiga act, Albert Prosa (FC Flora).
Full squad list
Name (D.O.B) - club caps/goals
Mihkel Aksalu (07.11.1984) – SJK (FIN) 12/0
Sergei Pareiko (31.01.1977) – FC Volga Nižni Novgorod (RUS) 57/0
Pavel Londak (14.05.1980) – FK Bodø/Glimt (NOR) 24/0
Marko Meerits (26.04.1992) – FC Emmen (NED) 2/0
Artjom Artjunin (24.01.1990) –FC Levadia 3/0
Alo Bärengrub (12.02.1984) – Nõmme Kalju FC 45/0
Enar Jääger (18.11.1984) – without club 105/0
Ken Kallaste (31.08.1988) – Nõmme Kalju FC 8/0
Gert Kams (25.05.1985) – SJK (FIN) 34/2
Ragnar Klavan (30.10.1985) – FC Augsburg (GER) 95/3
Igor Morozov (27.05.1989) – Debrecen VSC (HUN) 24/0
Artur Pikk (05.03.1993) –FC Levadia 1/0
Mikk Reintam (22.05.1990) – Nõmme Kalju FC 11/0
Taavi Rähn (16.05.1981) –FC Flora 74/0
Taijo Teniste (31.01.1988) – Sogndal Fotball (NOR) 31/0
Ilja Antonov (05.12.1992) – FC Levadia 7/0
Aleksandr Dmitrijev (18:02.1982) – FC Levadia 85/0
Dmitri Kruglov (24.05.1984) – FC Levadia 91/3
Joel Lindpere (05.10.1981) – FC Baník Ostrava (CZE) 92/7
Siim Luts (12.03.1989) – without a club 20/1
Karol Mets (16.05.1993) – FC Flora 7/0
Sergei Mošnikov (07.01.1988) – without a club 21/0
Ats Purje (03.08.1985) – KuPS (FIN) 44/4
Sergei Zenjov (20.04.1989) – Blackpool FC (ENG) 33/7
Konstantin Vassiljev (16.08.1984) – without a club 71/17
Martin Vunk (21.08.1984) – Nõmme Kalju FC 63/1
Hannes Anier (16.01.1993) – FC Erzgebirge Aue (GER) 2/1
Henri Anier (17.12.1990) – FC Erzgebirge Aue (GER) 15/5
Rimo Hunt (05.11.1985) – FC Kaisar Kyzylorda (KAZ) 6/1
Tarmo Kink (06.10.1985) – without a club 82/6
Henrik Ojamaa (20.05.1991) – Motherwell FC (SCO) 17/0
Albert Prosa (01.10.1990) – FC Flora 4/0
Kaimar Saag (05.08.1988) – Assyriska FF (SWE) 45/3