FOCUS ON FLORA (1/10, 43p)
Flora's situation is completely at odds with Sillamäe. Contrary to the Eastern Estonia side, they had all the week to focus on preparing this clash. It's the consequence of Flora not participating into the European competitions that is allowing Hurt's side to run faster than the rivals and be freed from any psychological burden the European campaign always brings. Flora will play in the typical 4-2-3-1 with Prosa up front support (left to right) by Logua, Beglarishvili and Alliku. Frolov and Luigend will guard the defence guided by Taavi Rähn partnering with Karol Mets with Markus Jürgenson and Nikita Baranov running on the full-back positions. Flora are reaching this game as clear favourite. If we want to find some pressure on their shoulder, it is the lead (just one point clear) taken by Levadia since the defending champions played on Saturday evening. Hurt&Co. know that only a win would bring them back on top. In the goal we shall see Stanislav Prins, it will be his 19th appearances.
The infirmary room is almost completely empty as the only player sideline is Kevin Aloe (until August). The main issue comes from the cautioned men: Jürgenson, Baranov, Rähn, Mets and Gussev are all one card away from the first suspension.
Key-man: Irakli Logua
He has already shown to be close to his top form, such an important clash (a win would basically mean an end to Sillamäe title-fight hopes) is the kind of game inspiring the Russian attacking left flanker. Either goals or assists, he can brand this game with his name.
FOCUS ON SILLAMÄE (4/10, 34p)
Newly appointed coach, Sergei Frantsev (coming from Russian third tier) has probably had little time to get acquainted with the squad. Therefore, the most logical thing is that he will change very little in what is Sillamäe's system of play and will trust Dobiza's advices for his debut on the Eastern Estonia's bench. This game is probably an hard bit to byte ahead of the home game against FC Krasnodar. Sillamäe are coming from 120 minutes of battle against FC Honka in Espoo. A game characterized by last minute drama and, obviously, fatigue. The XI has tried to rest as much as possible and some double team players might be given a chance (the double team played two men light since kick-off on Sunday the 13th!) therefore we might see some key-men (Ratnikov, Kabaev, Murikhin) be given a rest during half time at least.
Except from the long-term Zahovaiko, they are all available. Obviously the big question mark comes from how well the men who played at Honka have recovered from fatigue.
Key-man: Jaroslav Kvasov
If Frantsev/Dobiza will give Kvasov, the European hero, a rest, he might get his place back into the XI and up front and be the most dangerous element sneaked into the Flora's defence.
Hurt shall return to 4-2-3-1 against Sillamäe in order to put immediately pressure on Sillamäe trying to spare energies for the Europa League home game on Thursday. As usual Logua and Alliku will try to cause the opposing full-back distress. It will require a lot of double-teaming by Silich and Tjapkin. Frolov might expolit extra space for his quick runs into the box. If Ratnikov will play, Luigend will have the extra task to drop to limit the Sillamäe's nr.10 build-up.
FC FLORA vs. SILLAMÄE KALEV HEAD-TO-HEAD
(last 6 Premium Liiga Matches via WhoScored.com)
FC Flora’s wins: 2
Sillamäe’s wins: 3
Goals scored by FC Flora: 8
Goals scored by Sillamäe: 9
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Flora's rows: Albert Prosa (CF) 76 goals
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Sillamäe's rows: Vjatseslav Zahovaiko (CF) 175 goals – with the captain sidelined with injury, next top scorer is Dmitri Mashitsev (LM), 47 goals
ODDS (the figures may be subject to variation)
More odds about this game by
BETTING TIP (by Angelo Palmeri)
One week to rest against a tight Europa League tie lived on the roller coaster of the emotions. Sillamäe might resist one half, however it is quite unlikely they will leave A.LeCoq Arena with anything in their hands. In case Flora open the score earlier, Sillamäe's mind could already be at the next game in Europa League with FC Krasnodar. The Under (2,5 or 3,5) options are quite inviting (2.58 and 1.65) however we would put our stakes on Flora winning.
Tip: 1 at FT
Odd: 1.44 (odd might be subject to variation)
THE REFEREES SQUAD
(statistics courtesy of Heigo Niilop)
The game will be directed by Eiko Saar at his 190th game in Premium Liiga.
The 33-year-old referee has shown 587 yellow cards (3,10 per game) and 23 straight reds. 20 footballers have been sent off for double booking.
He has directed Flora vs. Sillamäe just three times and Flora has always won: 4-2 on the 17th of August 2010, 1-0 on the 14th of June 2011 (away to Sillamäe) and 3-0 on the 11th of May 2013. He has shown a total of 13 yellow cards (5 Flora and 8 Sillamäe) and 3 red cards (2 Flora and 1 Sillamäe).
His assistants will be Silver Kõiv and Maikel Mikson whereas Neeme Neemlaid will be the fourth official. Kristo Tohver and Juri Frischer will be the box assistants.
INFO ABOUT THE GAME
Kick off at A.LeCoq Arena at 20:30 EEST (19:00 CEST) on Monday the 14th of July 2014.
The game will also be streamed by Postimees.ee, link available here few minutes before the game.