Focus on FC INFONET (3/10, 20pts)
The way FC Infonet was about to throw three points away seemed in the same fashion seen since start of the season: a good result, a blow and then a recovering draw. Except the technical win against Nõmme Kalju, Infonet have managed to put two wins in a row only twice: on weekend 5 and 6 and in the last two. Obviously Narva Trans do not seem the best client to handle to try and achieve the third win running. However, Infonet have never lost home and Trans have never won away.
If Puśtov blamed the pitch conditions at Kalev for the ugly performance, going back to the smooth and regular artificial turf of Sportland Arena shall help his skilled players to deliver. Additionally, they were carrying the fatigue from a cup tie that now should be completely recovered.
Manucho is (finally) on a roll: 4 goals in the last two games have probably brought back the deadly striker of 2012 Esiliiga season.
Bad news are coming from Maksim Lipin and Eduard Golovljov. They are both injured and will be sidelined for the game against Trans. The former has got a knock in the game with the second team in Esiliiga B (third tier) and might be out for a while.
A huge blow for Puśtov who has to re-think his XI. He has been experimenting 4-4-1-1 against Kalev when not in possession and against Narva Trans he shall probably try to dare more. However, without Lipin, he will not have a valid weapon of choice to aim at Trans defence.
What might be the alternatives? A first option would be to move Mones in the 3-man line behind Manucho giving Semakhin the right full-back role (more likely option). Otherwise, he could field Marten Saarlas from the start leaving Mones in the back line.
Manucho and Avilov are cautioned having collected already three cards each.
Last minute news: Sheviakov out due to injury
Key-man: Marten Saalas
Manucho might have his troubles against the third best defence of the league (unbelievable, uh?) and the return game against Trans might bring some unpleasant surprise from the disciplinary point of view (see Avdeed being sent off in Narva). Therefore we think the young attacking flanker might bring in what Infonet needs in the space opened up front. Additionally, he has opened his scoresheet for Infonet at his first appearance with the new club.
Focus on NARVA TRANS (7/10, 8pt)
Trans have collected more draws than anyone else this season so far: 5 out of ten games. They are not proving to be outstanding in the attacking phase, however it is very hard to score them a goal. Bondarenko is aware of the scoring problem and admitted he would need a striker a-la' Neemelo or Gruznov (the latter net of his matchfixing involvement). The think strikers' line (only two players) has collected zero goals and do not seem like to break the diet any soon. Unless someone will come out from the transfer window in the summer, Bondarenko will still have to make go with what he has, meaning little.
The post-surgery recovery time for Sinicins is still long. All the other ones are sound and healthy.
The cautioned list is quite lenghty: Irie, Avdeev, Tamberg and Elisenook have all collected 3 cards and are due to miss the game against Flora in Narva if they will book. However, it is unlikely that the 61-year-old coach will resort to rotation.
4-2-3-1 will still probably be Bondarenko's choice. Miśins shall take Irie's place as central midfielder giving Shevyakov a chance on the right flank.
We will probably attend a quite one-way game in Sportland Arena. The late hour should not deprive the (assumingly low) attendance of some entertainment under the tactical point of view. FC Infonet will have to solve the Narva Trans defence enigma. It is not unlikely that some cards will be thrown at Narva and this might compel Bondarenko's side to a more lenient attitude when approaching the challenges.
FC INFONET VS. NARVA TRANS HEAD TO HEAD
Clashes in Premium Liiga: 5
FC Infonet's wins: 0
Trans' wins: 3
Goals scored by FC Infonet: 5
Goals scored by Trans: 8
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Infonet's rows: Konstantin Nahk (DMF) 152 goals
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Trans' rows: Stanislav Kitto (CB) 55 goals
ODDS (the figures may be subject to variation)
More odds about this game here by
THE REFEREES SQUAD
(statistics courtesy of Heigo Niilop)
The match director will be Martin Salong, helped in his job by Heigo Paglant and Maikel Mikson. The fourth official will be Grigori Ośomkov.
Quite curiously, Martin Salong has never directed a clash between these two clubs. He has collected 83 games in Premium Liiga showing 286 yellow cards (3,44) and 4 red cards. He sent off 13 players for double booking.
INFO ABOUT THE GAME
Game as usual at Sportland Arena.
Kick-off at 21:00 EEST tonight, Friday the 9th of May.
Unusual kick-off time for Premium Liiga as at 7pm, in the A.LeCoq Arena complex where Sportland is located, there's already Flora-Kalev taking place.
3€ if you click on 'Going' in the Facebook event here.