Three wins in their last three games have seen Sillamäe just about hang on to the European-qualification chasing pack, and they will be looking to continue that form as they host relegation-threatened Narva this weekend.
Narva halted their 5-match losing streak with two draws in two games, and they will hope to build on those positive performances as they make the short trip west to Sillamäe.
FOCUS ON SILLAMÄE (5/10, 43pts)
Sillamäe’s away form has slightly outshone their fortunes at home this season, with the fifth-placed side unable to really generate any momentum. They have won eight of their last twelve games overall, however, and they will be confident of taking the points here.
Evgeni Kabaev continued his recent good form with the two goals that spared Sillamäe’s blushes in their 2-1 defeat of bottom side Johvi. He will continue as the lone striker in what has been a relatively settled side of late.
Mashichev will provide support from the left, Murikhin from the right, and Silich in the centre just behind Kabaev. Ratnikov and Tjapkin will offer protection in front of the defence in the centre of midfield.
Injuries and Suspensions
No new injury concerns for Sillamäe.
Volodin, Kvasov, Murikhin and Ratnikov are a yellow card away from suspension.
Key man: Evgeni Kabaev
The Sillamäe frontman in on form at the moment, so it is imperative his midfielders create chances for him to put away. If Sillamäe are in the mood, Kabaev will be central to their attacking play.
FOCUS ON NARVA (7/10, 17pts)
Narva need to build on their two draws recently as they sit in 7th place in the league but level on points with Tammeka below them.
The recently settled attacking foursome will be broken up this weekend after Andrey Ornat’s dismissal against Paide. Artjom Skinjov will likely move up top, Svjatoslav Jakovlev and Ilya Osipov will continue somewhere in the front foursome, with Viktor Plotnikov probably replacing Ornat.
Ignat Epifanov and Andrejs Sinicins will form the central midfield partnership, with a back four of Vitali Andreejev, Pavel Avdeev, Roman Nesterovski and Vladislav Fjodorov from left to right.
Injuries and Suspensions:
Tamberg and Irie remain Narva’s only injury concerns.
Sinicins is one booking away from suspension.
Key man: Andrejs Sinicins
The defensively-minded midfielder will by key to stopping Sillamäe’s attacks, whilst trying to get Narva started with their own. He has presence in the centre, and needs support from Epifanov in providing the engine for the visitors.
The action will be in the centre of the park. Both teams play with two back and one forward in midfield, so getting hold of the ball and dictating play would be ideal. Expect to see some frustration and some direct balls forward, but if Sillamäe can use their quality to control the game, they should be able to break Narva down.
SILLAMÄE VS. NARVA TRANS HEAD-TO-HEAD
(last 6 Premium Liiga Matches via WhoScored.com)
Sillamäe’s wins: 5
Narva's wins: 0
Goals scored by Sillamäe: 14
Goals scored by Narva: 6
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Sillamäe's rows: Dmitri Mashitsev (LM) 47 goals*
*NB: Vjatseslav Zahovaiko (CF) is Sillamae's leading scorer with 175 goals, but misses out due to injury
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Narva's rows: Stanislav Kitto (CB) 55 goals
ODDS (the figures may be subject to variation)
BETTING TIP (by Chris Johns)
Sillamae are the league's second highest scorers, so goals aren't a problem for them. Narva are the league's joint lowest scorers (17 scored, of which 7 have been away from home), and they aren't likely to change that here. However, two draws in their last two games has shown a new resilience to their game, and they could cause stifle Sillamae. A home win is still likely, but a low-scoring one.
Tip: Under 2.5 goals
THE REFEREES SQUAD
(statistics courtesy of Heigo Niilop)
Roomer Tarajev takes charge. His 110 Premium Liiga games have seen 462 yellow cards and 31 reds, 17 of which have been for two yellows.
INFO ABOUT THE GAME
The game will be played at Sillamae Stadium on Saturday 16th August. Kick off is at 19.00.
Tickets cost 2 euros, discounted tickets are 1 euro. Under 16's and pensioners can watch the game free of charge.
The game will be streamed live on Postimees here.