Table-toppers FC Flora host relegation-threatened Tammeka Tartu at the A Le. Coq Arena this afternoon. Flora are fresh off the back of a 1-0 win against Nomme Kalju, dethroning them in the process, and have now gone ten matches unbeaten.
Tammeka sit in 8th place, with just two wins all season, none in their last four, and five defeats in their last eight matches. They also suffered a 7-0 hammering against Levadia last time out.
Our partners at Optibet have given Tammeka as good as no chance here, quoting a price of 32.70 for an away win (see match odds at the foot of this preview), and despite taking two points from their last two away games, it’s hard to see Tammeka coming away with anything.
FOCUS ON FC FLORA (1/10, 34pt)
Flora have no new injury concerns following the win over Kalju. A home match against one of the league’s weaker clubs might inspire a little tinkering, with Taavi Rahn and Nikita Baranov both one yellow card away from suspension. Erkki Junolainen and Sander Post may be given starting roles here if coach Norbert Hurt doesn’t want to risk them, but otherwise it is likely to be a similar starting defence.
Brent Lepistu and Maksim Gussev might be given a place if rotation is the order of the day, with Albert Prosa likely to continue up front to try and find his regular goalscoring touch. Zakaria Beglarishvili, Irakli Logua and/or Rauno Alliku may be rested to allow for a squad re-shuffle.
Hurt is unlikely to alter his side’s regular 4-2-3-1 formation too much, but may consider shifting one of his defensive midfielders further forward.
Key man: Albert Prosa
Prosa is the likeliest of the attackers to start, and he will want to find his goalscoring touch against a vulnerable side. He is full of running, and can help stretch Tammeka’s defence, but if he can make a habit of worming his way in behind the visiting back four, he is sure to have a productive afternoon.
FOCUS ON TAMMEKA TARTU (8/10, 10pt)
Tammeka’s task is made more difficult by the absence of Markus Jogi, Mikk Valtna ad Karl Johan Pechter through injury, alongside the already injured Georgi Ivanov and Jurgen Lorenz.
The visitors will deploy a similar formation to that of Flora. 4-2-3-1 giving the defence added protection against what is sure to be a marauding Flora attack.
Tammeka made just one change from their previous match (a 1-1 draw with Narva) for the Levadia game, with Marek Naal starting in place of Geir-Kristian Suurpere on the right wing. The 7-goal destruction they suffered last time out might normally provoke a starting line-up overhaul, but Tammeka’s lack of strength in depth will likely see them make minimal changes.
Kristjan Tiirik will lead the front line on his own, with support from Reio Laabus directly behind him, and Rasmus Tauts and Naal on the wings. The latter pairing will be expected to drop back to help thwart the threat of the Flora wingers. Martin Miller and Andre Paju appear to be the preferred defensive midfield partnership.
Key man: Karli Kutt
Tammeka won’t expect to be able to keep Flora from having at least a handful of clear chances on goal, so they are going to have to rely on Kutt to provide some heroics. The effectiveness of the central midfielders and defence is of obvious importance, but if one man can make an individual difference count for Tammeka it will be Kutt.
Despite deploying similar formations, the gulf between these two sides is plain to see from looking at the league table alone. Tammeka have conceded 44 goals so far this season, a statistic beaten only by Kalev, but they have managed to score 17 goals, which is the most of the bottom four clubs.
Most of the action is sure to be played in the Tammeka half, with the interchanging of passes between the Flora attackers the key feature of the game. Flora moved the ball well between midfield and attack against Kalju, so the defensive midfield partnership for Tammeka will have their work cut out.
The visitors need to be clinical on the counter, as they cannot realistically expect to have control of the ball throughout the game. If Flora are up for it, they will simply out-pass the opposition and exploit any gaps that are left in between the Tammeka lines.
FC FLORA VS. TAMMEKA TARTU HEAD TO HEAD
(last 6 Premium Liiga Matches via WhoScored.com)
Flora’s wins: 5
Tammeka’s wins: 0
Goals scored by Flora: 18
Goals scored by Tammeka: 3
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Flora's rows: Albert Prosa (Striker) 74 goals
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Tammeka's rows: Kristian Tiirik (LMF) 53 goals
ODDS (the figures may be subject to variation)
More odds about this game here by
THE REFEREES SQUAD
(statistics courtesy of Heigo Niilop)
Juri Frischer will direct 37th game.
122 yellow cards, 2 red cards for double booking and four straight red card it's his tally in Premium Liiga. He will be assisted by Jaan Roos and Aron Härsing on the touchlines with Grigori Ośomkov in the technical area.
INFO ABOUT THE GAME
Entrance to the game at A.LeCoq Arena is 4€.
2€ for students and pensioners. U-12's get in for free.
Discount available also if you click 'Join' in the Facebook event.
Kick-off this afternoon, Saturday the 14th of June, at 16:00 EEST.
The game will not be streamed.