A huge match at the bottom of the Premium Liiga sees Tallinna Kalev travel south to Tartu to take on Tammeka.
Neither side are in sparkling form, with just one win in their last five games combined. A win for Tammeka would see them climb out of the drop zone ahead of Narva’s trip to Paide on Sunday, while a win for the visitors would see them move within a point of safety.
FOCUS ON TAMMEKA (8/10, 14pts)
Tammeka have failed to win at home since they began their hosting duties. Three draws and five defeats is one reason they are floundering in the relegation zone, and a match against their direct rivals is one in which they will desperately want to buck that trend.
Kristjan Tiirik will return from his coaching duties, and will likely start as the lone striker in place of Mairo Tikerberi. Martin Hurt will slot in somewhere in the attacking midfield threesome, with Tammeka having shuffled their attacking line-up in recent weeks.
Geir-Kristian Suurpere could return, as could Valeri Sabanov, and Tauno Tekko will take his usual place in central midfield as Tammeka’s starting line-up is often less than assured.
Tenno and Andre Paju are one booking away from suspension.
Key man: Kristjan Tiirik
Tiirik bagged two in the draw with Johvi, and his absence against Sillamae was greatly felt. His return will boost Tammeka’s attack, and they will be looking for his experience to get them the goals they need here.
FOCUS ON KALEV (9/10, 12pts)
Kalev have the second worst away record in the league with just four points on their travels. They also have the worst away goal difference (-39, 7/46), but a trip to Tammeka presents them with one of their best opportunities to do something about that record.
Their recent overall form suggests this might not happen, however. Five defeats in a row (with a goal difference of -20, 1/21) have left them four points from safety, and they need to step up and take points from the teams around them if they want to survive.
If Tammeka’s team is hard to predict, Kalev’s is nigh on impossible. Unexplained absences for their key players haven’t helped their cause, neither has Aleksei Belov’s departure to Germany.
Nikita Koger and Raiko Karpov will form part of the Kalev attack, with Ian-Erik Valge slotting in somewhere in front of the defence. Johannes Kukebal was deployed on the left wing against Kalju, highlights Kalev’s inconsistencies with their starting line-up.
Ionel Armean may make a welcome return in central midfield alongside Edgars Butlers.
Karpov is one booking away from suspension, as is the missing Lasha Omanidze.
Key man: Edgars Butlers
Butlers has a key role in the centre of midfield, with his responsibilities spread across the pitch. He will need to force the Tammeka attack wide, hoping for some defensive support from his full backs. His creative juices will also need to be flowing in order to get Kalev up the field.
Similar formations for these two teams will put emphasis on individual battles. Kalev don't tend to commit too many men forward, which will give Tammeka a little more freedom when committing to their own attack.
Long, direct balls forward are likely, but Tammeka have the slightly better ability to knock the ball around, and if they can be disciplined they should find a way through a packed Kalev defence.
TAMMEKA VS. KALEV TRANS HEAD-TO-HEAD
(last 6 Premium Liiga Matches via WhoScored.com)
Tammeka’s wins: 3
Kalev's wins: 2
Goals scored by Tammeka: 13
Goals scored by Kalev: 5
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Tammeka's rows: Kristian Tiirik (LMF) 54 goals
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
ODDS (the figures may be subject to variation)
More odds about this game available here at
BETTING TIP (by Chris Johns)
Tammeka have scored just seven goals in their eight home matches this season. They have also failed to score in three of their last four matches in any stadium. Kalev have only seven goals in their ten away games this campaign, and have failed to score in none of their last four games anywhere.
None of these facts would point to a particularly high-scoring game, so go for Under 2.5 goals at 2.41.
Tip: Under 2.5 goals
THE REFEREES SQUAD
(statistics courtesy of Heigo Niilop)
Referee Eiko Saar's 191 Premium Liiga games have contained 595 yellow cards and 43 reds, 20 of which were for two yellows.
INFO ABOUT THE GAME
The match will be played on Friday 8th August 2014 at Tammeka stadium in Tartu. Kick-off is at 19:00.
Tickets are 4€. Students and pensioners can attend the game for 2€.
If you join their Facebook event you can enter the stadium for 1€. Children under 14 and Tammeka youth players can watch the game free of charge.