Focus on FC Flora (1/10, 61 pts)
Two weeks of break with the chance to rest before the final sprint from the enviable position of top of the table. Not bad. It was the best possible scenario for Norbert Hurt and his side who lost the leadership for just one week until Sillamäe shocked Levadia away (3-0) and gifted back the top to the most-titled club. However, now the challenge comes. Flora lazily lived on the advantage stockpiled during the previous months and let oppositions (mainly Levadia) get closer in the last weeks of summer. The gap is not huge now (just one point clear of Levadia) therefore any mistake will be very dear. Flora has the big advantage to play all the derbies (Levadia and Kalju) at home, however they cannot allow themselves to losing points to minnows.
Under this point of view, the game in Jõhvi two weeks ago it was a kind of surprise with the Eastern Estonia side leading 2-1 after half an hour. Up to 40' minutes, when Rauno Alliku pulled level and Flora took off after Loko they were down to ten men, the game in Jõhvi well resembled Flora's season so far. Resuming at home will be an advantage compared to Levadia travelling to Paide and Kalju playing against Infonet. They might see Levadia on top overnight (they play on Friday the 12th of September) and this might put extra pressure in achieving the three points. Being the final rush, Hurt might well go for the best possible XI considering that only Rähn is not available (suspensione). This will be a chance to see again the 1996-born Joosep Juha in the back line pairing with Karol Mets, unlikely to be given a rest after the international duty. Magnus Pehrsson said to the press in the aftermath of Mets' good performance against Slovenia, that he could cover the role also at Flora. However, the reality is a bit different since there are many good midfielders at FCF and the roles are well covered there. Not to mention that, free agent Sergei Mośnikov has joined the club in the attempt of regaining form to find a contract abroad and eventually a place back into the national selection.
Key-man: Rauno Alliku
Very hard to choose between him and Albert Prosa at the moment, as also the Tartu-born striker seems to be back on a good scoring vein (5 in the last five games out of his 18 seasonal - plus the motivation to reach 80 goals in Premium Liiga). However, Alliku's forays on the right flank are always the best thing Flora can offer to unsettle oppositions. He's been constantly among the seasonal top players and definitely the man to look at for this game too. Norbert Hurt will have a bit of thinking over the next 24h.
Injuries and suspensions
Except Taavi Rähn missing out on suspension, all the others are available including midfielder Andre' Frolov and full back Nikita Baranov. The latter is one card away from suspension as Maksim Gussev, Albert Prosa and Markus 'Max' Jürgenson.
Focus on Lokomotiv Jõhvi (10/10, 9 pts)
What seemed like an hopeless season for just returning back to Esiliiga, has suddenly turned into the chance of achieving what was unthinkable of only 4-5 months ago. A win and draw in a row (the only positive streak of the season!) made it possible since the upper floor dwellers (Kalev) have just been losing one game after the other (10 losses in a row, worst streak this season). The Tallinn club is just now three points away and this gave new motivation to a squad otherwise deprived of any other demand from this season. The return of coach Tihhomirov helped also adjust the performance which, beyond few negative results, has looked definitely better. Going to Tallinn for points would be an high expectation. However, they will try to make Flora's life more complicated in order to keep fit for the direct clash on the 27th of September against Kalev. It will be their great chance to pull level with them (Kalev are just 3 points clear) and to rely upon a better goal difference (-60 vs. -88 at time of writing) to grab an unhoped-for play-off spot. Motivation can move mountains even if the gap with Flora will not be fillable.
Key-man: Maksim Bazjukin
The 'Bazooka' could pull out one of his legendary goals, ask Levadia.
Injuries and suspensions
Rihards Ivanovs is not due to return any time soon this season due to a serious injuries whose terms and medical bulletin have not been disclosed to 'Rumori'. On the other hand, all the other players are available expception made for Nikulin, suspended after his red card against Flora two weeks ago. Suspension awaits a considerable bunch: Rudomin, Kulikov, Kaivoja and Potapov are all one card away from it.
Hurt will probably go for no-risk policy this time and give back to Alliku the right flank bringing Prosa at the tip of his 4-2-3-1. Maybe Gussev might earn a start in the place of either Beglarishvili or Logua (in the first case, the latter could play behind Prosa). Whatever will be the set-up and the rotation, Flora's front line is simple too much for Loko's static defence opposed to the extreme dynamism of the white-greens.
FC Flora VS. Lokomotiv Jõhvi HEAD TO HEAD (last 3 matches via WhoScored.com)
Note: this is only the fourth time that these two teams play against each other.
Lokomotiv’s wins: 0
Flora’s wins: 2
Goals scored by Lokomotiv: 4
Goals scored by Flora: 11
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Flora's rows: Albert Prosa (CF) 79 goals
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Lokomotiv's rows: Maksim Bazjukin (RMF) 38 goals
ODDS (the figures may be subject to variation)
More odds about this game here by
(Sports > Football > Estonia > Meistriliiga)
THE REFEREES SQUAD
(statistics courtesy of Heigo Niilop)
The match director will be once again, as two weeks ago, Juri Frischer.
He has collected 42 games and shown 142 yellow cards (3.38). 5 red cards were for a second booking, 4 were straight ones.
Info about the game
Entrance to the ground (A.LeCoq Arena) will be 4€ with 50% discount for students. Children U-12 and pensioners in for free.
If click 'Join' on Facebook event, you are entitled to the same discount, not to mention that participants to SEB Tallinn's marathon get in for free upon showing their marathon bib number at the entrance.
In the interval, the show from the amazing Dance Team (above). You don't have excuses for your laziness. Not even that the game is streamed by Postimees.ee here.
Kick-off at 19:00 EEST (18:00 CEST) on the 13th of September.