As the spring slowly kicks in and Fc Flora are ready to make their transition to the A. Le Coq Arena, first opponent to face them there is their old “patient”, Trans Narva. Currently 5 points separating the two teams on the table, let’s see what we can expect from this early April clash.
Focus on FC FLORA
After the impressive start of the season and 3 wins out of 3 matches, everyone expected Flora’s form to drop at some point. And the dry period came. Three games without a win and 2 points out of possible 9 (to be fair, those 2 points were earned away at Kalju and Levadia) are more than a good motivation for the home team to get back on the winning track.
Fc Flora is usually a team that plays well in front of their home crowd. This season they have gathered six points out of nine, with a slip only to the in-form Fc Infonet in matchday V.
Despite their sudden defensive vulnerability, it is not expected for Rähn and Mets to have many troubles with the visitors’ attack, thus allowing Aloe and Jürgenson to rush more forward and stir Narva’s defensive lines. After the positive display against Levadia, Luigend and Frolov should get the nod for the central midfield positions, while Logua’s lively performance might have earned him the starting position on the left flank. Beglarishvili (who promised a 100% win here) should be responsible for creating chances, Alliku should take over at the right flank and even though his 4 consecutive scoring matches streak came to an end against Levadia, Prosa should standardly start at the central forward position.
This formation completely suits Flora’s attacking mentality and fully exploits their resources. It will be interesting to see if Hurt will opt to start the game with the same XI from last week or give chance to Sander Post from the very beginning.
Key-man: Zakaria Beglarishvili
Having been partially shut down against Fc Levadia, the miniature offensive player of Flora will certainly do his best and get his self-confidence back. That said, you might expect him to create a lot of chances for his teammates and himself as well.
Fc Flora’s squad is healthy and no team members have been diagnosed with any injuries.
Previous games on RdS
Focus on Trans JK Narva
Having been undefeated in the first five rounds, the pressure was mounting up on the overhauled team of Narva Trans facing Kalju in the previous match. And they failed to deliver. 0-4 marked the beginning of the series of extremely difficult games for the team from the eastern part of the country. While they still remain unbeaten away from their ground, it will be very difficult to keep that record against the high-scoring team of Flora.
After the injury of Sinicins, who was replaced by Fjodorov, it is not expected for coach Bondarenko to make any other changes in the squad. Lepmets, who recently turned 27 and was a subject to a nice prank by his teammates, should be the one between the sticks, Avdeev and captain Nesterovski in front of him, Andrejev and Shevyakov on the full-back positions. The Ivorian international Elysee and Siim Tenno will have probably the most difficult task in cutting down Flora’s attacks while Plotnikov, Fjodorov and Misins will be most probably deployed behind Eliseenok.
Similar to his colleague from Flora, coach Bondarenko also uses the offensive formation, trying to push the opponents deeper into their own half. In this case it can be a big risk as it will either deliver or badly fail. We saw earlier that Flora’s defense is not unbeatable and if Narva midfielders manage to press them in the right manner, everything could be possible.
Key-man: Siim Tenno
With 2 goals already behind his name, it could be expected for Tenno to continue his fine individual form. However, in this game he will probably have more defensive tasks and we are keen on seeing how he’ll be able to handle that.
Besides Sinicins, coach Bondarenko has his full squad available for the first game this season at Estonia’s biggest stadium.
FLORA VS. NARVA TRANS HEAD TO HEAD
Clashes in Premium Liiga: 63
Flora's wins: 33
Trans’ wins: 12
Goals scored by Flora: 110
Goals scored by Trans: 68
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Flora's rows: Albert Prosa (CF) 71 goals
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Trans’ rows: Stanislav Kitto (CB) 55 goals
More odds at Optibet here
The referees squad
For Flora's home debut in A.LeCoq Arena, the Estonian FA have assigned 6 officials as there will be Kristo Tohver and Kristo Külljastinen to control the goallines.
The match official will be Juri Frischer and his assitants Sten Klaasen and former Tallinn's deputy mayor, Jaanus Mutli. 4th official Veiko Mõstnik.
It is the second Flora game for Frischer as he already directed Loko-Flora (1-3) on matchday 1. He has collected 3 games this season showing 6 yellow cards and assigning 2 penalties.
His total tally in Premium Liiga (3 seasons) is 32 games, 102 yellow cards (3,1) and 6 red ones (0,18).
Frischer has directed one game in Ykkönen, the Finnish second tier, in 2012: KooTeePee vs. FC Viikingit 0-4.
It is sure that Hurt will opt for his standard 4-2-3-1 in which his offensive players will take most of the load and try to exploit any mistake from Narva’s defense. On the other hand, if Bondarenko decides to go with the same formation, even though predictable, it will definitely cause troubles for Flora because it will open space for them to push forward, but at the same time will give more freedom to Fjodorov, Plotnikov and Misins to operate deeper in Flora’s half.
Information about the game
This will be the first game of the season played on A. Le Coq Arena grass pitch and from the first information we got, the pitch is still a bit sandy, but the organizers are doing everything to make it perfect for the match.
The entrance is standard 2 euros (1 euro discounted for students and free for retired people and kids not older than 12)
Kick-off is tomorrow, Saturday the 12th of April, at 16:00 EEST and there will be live streaming on ERR (a link will be available here just before the game's kick-off)