New match at the nation’s biggest arena and another one between opponents from Tallinn. The high-flyers Flora are facing the relegation-struggling team of Kalev Tallinn. It is well-known who the favourites are for this match, but let’s not make early conclusions and analyze all the aspects of this match.
Focus on FC FLORA (2/10, 21pts)
The away win against Sillamäe in the previous match was just what the hosts of this match needed. The excellent display helped them get their confidence back and kept them in the title chase. However, that win didn’t come without a price. Coach Norbert Hurt was left without the services of Baranov and Prosa so this is the team we might expect for the match against Kalev. As usual, Toom between the sticks, Rähn and Mets in central defense, while Jürgenson should be accompanied by Erkki Junolainen at the full-back positions. For the previous match Hurt made one interesting change in midfield creating new partnership between Frolov and Lepistu who did a great job and there is no reason not to keep them in the first squad for this game as well. As we mentioned before, Prosa is not available for this game so his place might be retaken by Logua, Beglarashvili should be on his standard attacking midfield place, Alliku should attack the right flank and Post will probably occupy the central forward position.
Standard formation for Hurt again exploiting the wingers, but as we saw in Sillamäe, could be very dangerous through the middle and create danger through the creativity of Zakaria Beglarashvili and the robustness of Post.
Key-man: Sander Post
The giant in Flora’s team was out with an injury for a very long time and now he is finally fully fit and ready to make his way in the starting XI. In the previous game he showed some nice touches and positioning but failed to put his name on the scoring sheet. This match should be the turning point in the season for him in the attempt to establish himself as the starting central forward in Hurt’s squad.
Injuries and suspensions
Aloe is absent on long term but what worries Flora’s staff more is the injury of his replacement Baranov. The medical checks, however, showed that it is a minor injury and he should be available for the next match already. Same is the case with Albert Prosa who suffered a horror tackle by Paponov. He should also be back for the match against Trans in Narva. The rest of the squad is in good condition with Jürgenson being the only player with three yellow cards, one away from suspension.
Focus on KALEV (8/10, 5pt)
The team of Kalev Tallinn are a story for themselves this season. Despite having by far the worst defense in Premium Liiga they managed to pick up 5 points and they are one spot above the relegation zone. They were even close to putting up a shock against the exhausted team of Infonet in the previous round only to be defeated because of their own blunders. For this match it won’t be expected from coach Zamogilnõi to make any significant changes so Savitski should again be on the goal, his brother Aleksei Savitski and Heintare in central defence while Kukebal and Gavrilov should be on the full-back positions. If he decides to go with the same formation he used against Infonet, we could expect to see Valja providing protection for the defence and Koger and Rump in central midfield. Nariste should be deployed on the left wing position, Omanidze on the right and Belov in central attack.
An interesting formation that might look defensive but fully exploits the speed and creativity of the wingers of Tallinna Kalev. It worked against Infonet, why it shouldn’t work against Flora?
Key-man: Aleksei Belov
The 22-year old striker is the top goal scorer of his team and it depends a lot on him if they are going to extend their scoring tally or not. In the previous match he managed to score a nice goal and that would certainly encourage him to take more chances against the hosts on Friday.
Injuries and suspensions
We mentioned before that Butlers will be absent for a long time, but coach Zamogilnõi has the rest of the squad available with Karpov still endangered with his three yellow cards.
The key battles in this game will be fought in Kalev’s box and if their defenders manage to halt Post somehow they might expect some kind of a positive result. On the other hand, Flora proved many times that the main danger isn’t coming only from their central forwards, but their wingers Alliku and Beglarashvili also combined for 9 goals already this season which makes the task even harder for Kalev. However, we already witnessed few shocks in this championship, so we can’t exclude anything just yet.
FLORA VS. KALEV HEAD TO HEAD
Clashes in Premium Liiga: 21
Flora’s wins: 18
Kalev's wins: 0
Goals scored by Flora: 60
Goals scored by Kalev: 15
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Flora's rows: Albert Prosa (CF) 73 goals
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Kalev's rows: Aleksei Savtski (CB) 7 goals
More odds about the game here by
THE REFEREES SQUAD
(statistics courtesy of Heigo Niilop)
Kristo Külljastinen returns to A.Le Coq as match director supported by Raul Kaivoja and Neeme Neemlaid. The fourth official will be Toomas Nõmmiste. In his 18 appearances in Premium Liiga, he has directed this clash only once, last September 2013 when Kalev managed to hold Flora on a 1-1 draw. In that occasion he showed 3 yellow cards to Kalev and 1 to Flora. His total tally of yellow cards is 75 (4,1). He has sent off just one player for double booking and he has not showed a straight red card to anyone yet.
INFO ABOUT THE GAME
The entrance is 4 euros (2 euros the discounted fee for school and university students and free for retired people and kids not older than 12)
Kick-off is tonight, Friday the 9th of May, at 19:00 EEST and the game will not be streamed.
In the match break there will be games and Flora Dance Team performance.
Game at 'A.Le Coq Arena'.