Infonet travel to Flora on a high following their Premium Liiga record victory over Lokomotiv Johvi last weekend. The 10-1 scoreline also continued their recent good run of form, which has seen them cut the gap to Levadia in 4th to just four points.
Flora came from a goal down to draw with Levadia on Monday as they kept the gap at the top to four points, coupled with Kalju’s 1-1 draw at Narva Trans.
FOCUS ON FLORA (1/10, 53pts)
Flora will be happier than Levadia with their derby point, having extended their unbeaten run to 17 games. They sit four points clear of Kalju, who take on Levadia themselves this weekend, so this could be a good opportunity for Flora to capitalise on any slip-ups. Thoughts of squad rotation might be out of the question here though, as Infonet are on a good run of their own.
Brent Lepistu and Karl-Erik Luigend began in the centre of midfield, and with Andre Frolov still sidelined with injury their places are only under threat by Rauno Sappinen.
Albert Prosa should continue up front, with Irakly Logua, Zakaria Beglarishvili and Rauno Alliku supporting him from left to right. Maksim Gussev may be drafted in to freshen the squad up.
Nikita Baranov may miss out, however, as he sustained a minor injury in the Levadia game.
Baranov, Gussev, Prosa, Luigend, Taavi Rahn, and Karol Mets are all just one booking away from suspension, and this may come into consideration as Flora will not want to deal with multiple suspensions at any one time.
Key man: Brent Lepistu/Karl-Erik Luigend
If Flora's defensive midfielders can neutralise the threat of Aidara, Flora will have a much easier time going forward. They need to stop Infonet getting the ball forward quickly to Manucho, and need to be a wall in front of their defence to redirect Infonet's attacks back up the opposite end of the pitch.
FOCUS ON INFONET (4/10, 44pts)
The recent 3-2 win at Levadia extended Infonet’s unbreaten run to eight matches. They have also now won four away matches on the trot, and are unbeaten in seven on the road. This form will certainly give them confidence going into the match, and their shooting boots are certainly on fire following their recent 10-1 demolition of Johvi.
They are now just four points off third place, and pre-season predictions of European qualification look much more realistic than a month or two ago.
Infonet are unlikely to match widespread changes, with Manucho to start as the lone striker, Oleg Valov on the left, Alexander Semakhin on the right, and Aidara just in behind Manucho.
Konstantin Nahk strengthened his position as Infonet’s top all-time Premium Liiga scorer last weekend, and will continue alongside Tanel Melts.
Nahk, Manucho, Vladimir Avilov, Jevgeni Harin, and Jevgeni Gurtsioglujants are all a booking away from suspension.
Key man: Manucho
The Infonet frontman has been in terrific form of late. He bagged the winning goal in the Levadia match, and his athletic running and pace is a constant threat. Infonet will look to him to trouble the Flora defence and create some gaps to bring other in to play.
Both teams will line-up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, so focus will be on individual battles. Two defensively-minded central midfielders mean play could be forced down the wings, with the central attacking midfielder looking to exploit space.
Infonet used their formation to good effect against Levadia's 4-4-2 system, but they will find Flora a much tougher challenge. Alliku and Logua like to cut inside, and are likely to cause more of a threat thean their counterparts Valov and Semakhin. If Aidara can link-up with Manucho effectively in the centre, Infonet have a chance. Otherwise, the strength of Flora's attack is likely to swing the match in their favour.
FLORA VS. INFONET TRANS HEAD-TO-HEAD
(last 6 Premium Liiga Matches via WhoScored.com)
Flora’s wins: 3
Infonet's wins: 2
Goals scored by Flora: 12
Goals scored by Infonet: 10
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Flora's rows: Albert Prosa (CF) 78 goals
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Infonet's rows: Konstantin Nahk (DM) 153 goals
ODDS (the figures may be subject to variation)
More odds about this game available here at
BETTING TIP (by Chris Johns)
With Infonet in such good form it's difficult to dismiss their credentials here. Flora are top and unbeaten in 17, so their 1.44 price is unsurprising, but Infonet can get something here. If you're not fully confident of the win at a whopping 6.44, the X2 bet at 2.69 is certainly worth a punt.
Tip: X2 (draw or Infonet win)
THE REFEREES SQUAD
(statistics courtesy of Heigo Niilop)
Kristo Külljastinen takes charge of the match. His 24 Premium Liiga matches have seen 92 yellow card and 2 red cards, both for two yellows.
INFO ABOUT THE GAME
Kick off at A.LeCoq Arena is at 19:00 on Friday 8th August 2014.
The game will also be streamed by ERR here a few minutes before the game.
Free grilled meat for the first 250 people who will make to the stadium earlier. Meat grilled by special Flora fan, Frank 'Papa' Kolde.
In the interval, the show by the Flora Dance Team.