Paide travel north to play Tallinna Kalev this weekend, hoping to continue their seeming upturn in form. Following a 4-0 win at Tammeka on Matchday 20, they pushed Sillamäe all the way before eventually going down to a Jaroslav Kvasov strike four minutes into injury time last weekend.
Kalev are still within reach of safety at the bottom, but need to halt a run of four straight defeats (conceding 18 goals in the process), and just two wins in 16.
Focus on Kalev (9/10, 12pts)
Despite statistics being against them, Kalev have actually lost just one of their last four home games. They are only three points from safety, with Narva in seeming freefall.
Oliver Heliste and Johannes Kukebal swapped places for the Sillamäe match, with the former moving forward from left back and the latter moving back from the left wing.
Nikita Koger began as the lone striker, and he may do that again here, with Raiko Karpov on the right. Ian-Erik Valge played just behind Koger, as Pikkor failed to make the squad.
Ionel Armean will continue in the centre of midfield, with the returning Edgars Butlers likely to be alongside him.
Lasha Omanidze is a booking away from suspension.
No new concerns for Kalev. Armean is suspended.
Key man: Lasha Omanidze
With Armean suspended and Belov sold to Germany, he is the only player who can bring some flair to this modest side and create headaches to Paide back 4.
Focus on Paide (6/10, 22pts)
Following five straight defeats, Paide have taken four points from their last three games. The defeat against Sillamae was harsh on the central Estonian club, and they will be looking to bounce back here.
Paide have made the unusual move to release their squad 24 hours in advance of the game…on Twitter. Their exact starting XI wasn’t revealed, but based on their last few games we can make a fairly safe assumption.
Sander Roivassepp will lead the attack, with Kaspar Paur, Rasmus Tomson and Jasper Uwaegbulam supporting from left to right. Sander Sinilaid will be partnered by Liivo Leetma in the centre of midfield, as Ervin Koll is suspended following his red card against Sillamae.
Dmitri Kovtunovits should line up at right back, Andrei Veis at left back, with Karl Palatu and, most likely, Joel Indermitte in the centre.
If their Twitter feed is to be believed, their bench will feature Martin Ustaal, Eerik Reinsoo, Stanislav Goldberg, Aleksandr Vassiljev, and new signing Silver Kruusalu, who has arrived from Flora’s third team.
Palatu, Kaspar Kaldoja and Sinilaid are all one yellow card away from suspension.
No new injury concerns for Paide
Key man: Jaspar Uwa
The Nigerian seems to have found a little form, and his pace and direct running could be key to unlocking the Kalev defence. He got his first goal of the season in the 4-0 win over Tammeka, and Paide need someone to step forward and take the goalscoring responsibilities on their shoulders.
Both sides will implement the same formation: 4-2-3-1 in attack, 4-1-4-1 in defence. This puts emphasis on individual battles, and how well each side’s wingers can stretch the defensive midfielders.
By playing wide, the central attacking midfielders will find themselves with more space, vice versa if played central. A high level of discipline needs to be employed to ensure gaps aren’t left, and the work of the defensive midfielders to deal with the attacking midfield threat will be the focus here.
KALEV VS. PAIDE HEAD-TO-HEAD
(last 6 Premium Liiga Matches via WhoScored.com)
Kalev’s wins: 1
Paide's wins: 4
Goals scored by Kalev: 6
Goals scored by Paide: 12
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Kalev's rows: Lasha Omanidze (CF) 5 goals*
*Lasha Omanidze's current availability for the team is unknown, therefore the next most prolific scorer(s) are: Aleksei Naariste (LM) and Ando Hausenberg (RB) 2 goals
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Paide's rows: Rasmus Tomson (MF) 39 goals
ODDS (the figures may be subject to variation)
More odds about this game available at
BETTING TIP (by Chris Johns)
A simple Paide win at 1.42 is a decent price considering Kalev's recent form.
However, Paide have scored six goals in their last two games, and Kalev have conceded 18 in their last four (28 in six if you want a little more emphasis), so statistics point to Paide scoring a few here. Over 2.5 goals at 1.51 is therefore a slightly better priced bet, and almost just as safe as a straight Paide win.
Bet: Over 2.5 goals
THE REFEREES SQUAD
(statistics courtesy of Heigo Niilop)
The game will be officiated by Elar Tarkus, who has 14 Premium Liiga matches to his name. In those matches, he has shown 35 yellow card and 2 red cards, 1 for two yellows.
INFO ABOUT THE GAME
Kick-off is Saturday 2nd August at 17:00 EEST at Kalevi Keskstaadion.
4€ entrance fee, discounted categories 2€ and if you have selected 'going' on the Facebook event.