Difficult Test for Kalju’s Recovery Bid
Nomme Kalju travel across Tallinn to play Flora as they look to bounce back from the disappointing 1-0 reverse against Levadia last time out. The result still saw them top the table, but the teams around them, Flora included, closed the gap.
Kalju had won all of their away matches before their ‘away’ defeat to Levadia, so they have the pedigree to come back stronger.
Flora are on a 9-match unbeaten run (including 6 wins) and sit just one point and one place behind Kalju in second place, setting up a mouth-watering clash in the capital.
FOCUS ON FLORA (2/10, 31p)
Flora’s unbeaten run stretches back to matchday 5, their only defeat of the season so far, and they have closed the gap to the top of the table to just one point. They are unbeaten in four home games, winning twice.
Flora have an almost complete squad to choose from, with Markus Jurgenson being the exception, having been ruled out for up to six weeks with a knee inury. Baranov and Rahn are on three yellow cards, but will be risked here.
The squad is likely to remain unchanged from last matchday’s dramatic 3-2 win ‘away’ to FC Infonet . This will see the much-used 4-2-3-1 formation deployed, with Sander Post spearheading the attack, supported Zakaria Beglarishvili and Albert Prosa, with the only real uncertainty being over the left wing spot. Irakli Logua began there for the Infonet match, but was replaced by Rauno Alliku, and this change may be in force from the start here. If so, Prosa should move across to the left with Alliku slotting in on the right.
Karl-Eerik Luigend and Andre Frolov will play important roles in the centre of midfield, as they seek to stop Kalju’s Wakui dictating the play from the middle. They will also need to offer some support to try and stop the marauding Allan Kimbaloula on the flanks.
Key Man: Karl-Eerik Luigend
He will be tasked with stopping Kalju’s two most dangerous threats in the form of Wakui and Allan. His partnership with Frolov is key to easing the pressure on their side’s back four and helping to launch attacks for their attacking foursome. If Luigend can keep Wakui quiet, it will make his side’s job a lot easier.
FOCUS ON KALJU (1/10, 32p)
Kalju need to banish the memory of the Levadia defeat and step up to the plate here. They failed to create a huge amount of chances in that game, with a lack of support in the centre for the wingers being of particular disappointment.
With the stakes so high in this match, Igor Prins is unlikely to meddle with his preferred 4-4-1-1 formation. Wakui will be the man between the front two lines, tucked in just behind Tarmo Neemelo. Damiano Quintieri continued his comeback from injury with cameo appearance from the bench against Levadia, and this may be cause enough for Prins to hand him a starting berth.
Allan Kimbaloula will be the first choice winger, with Quintieri likely to replace Janar Toomet if he does get the nod. Reginald played in place of Fabio Prates alongside Martin Vunk last time out, but Prins may look to reverse that decision here in order to give Kalju some more attacking bite. Karl Mööl is also an option on the right wing, but he was left on the bench against Levadia, and Janar Toomet didn’t disgrace himself before his substitution, so Prins has some thinking to do.
Alo Bärengrub will follow up his 45 minutes of international by leading the defence, but Ken Kallaste hobbled off in the match after setting up the winning goal, and Kalju will need to monitor his situation. Mikk Reintam will be an absentee, with Jorge Rodrigues possibly slotting back into the side in his place.
Key man: Allan Kimbaloula
Kalju need to bounce back with some flair, and there is nobody better in the league to provide it. He could be key to unlocking a stubborn Flora rearguard and his unpredictability might be the deciding factor.
Kalju struggled to create much against Levadia last time out, with a lack of support in the middle from some good crossing positions letting them down. Wakui was unable to dictate the game like he can do, and with Flora playing a 2-man central midfield, he might just find himself frustrated once more.
Reginald might be deployed again for Kalju in order to provide extra defensive support against Flora’s attacking midfield trio, but that sacrifices the attacking edge that Fabio Prates, for instance, could provide.
If Luigend and Frolov can keep Wakui quiet, and help to shackle Allan’s running from the wings, Flora might have enough to win the midfield battle and snatch top spot off their opponents.
FC FLORA VS. NOMME KALJU HEAD TO HEAD
Clashes in Premium Liiga: 25
Flora's wins: 12
Kalju’s wins: 6
Goals scored by Flora: 43
Goals scored by Kalju: 31
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Flora's rows: Albert Prosa (Striker) 74 goals
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Kalju's rows: Tarmo Neemelo (Striker) 160 goals
ODDS (the figures may be subject to variation)
More odds about this game here by
THE REFEREES SQUAD
(statistics courtesy of Heigo Niilop)
Big clash, big referee. The Estonian FA has spared no expense for this important game and entrusted the derby to the wise hands of the best Estonian referee, Hannes Kaasik.
Hannes has directed 240 games in Premium Liiga showing 25 straight reds. Among the 709 yellows, he has converted into red only 27 of them.
There will be a full squad assisting the international whistle in his task:
- Silver Kõiv and Maikel Mikson on the touchlines
- Eiko Saar and Roomer Tarajev in the boxes
- Martin Lember from the technical area
INFO ABOUT THE GAME
Kick-off at 19:00 tonight, Tuesday the 10th of June.
If you are not so lucky to be in Tallinn and reach the A.LeCoq Arena, the game will be streamed by Postimees.ee, link to the game available here few minutes before kick-off.
Entrance fee is 4€
2€ the discounted ticket for pupils, university students and Facebook event 'Going'
Up to 12-year-old of age and pensioners, for free.
Flora are organizing interesting entertaining during the interval.
A team of cheerleders in new outfits with Flora colours (see picture above) will have their usual show in the break.
Additionally you have the chance to win a first-team player's jersey (of your choice) if you guess the approximate number of the attendance at the game.