Rematch between the two Tallinn-based clubs and most likely another one-sided game at the Kalev Central Stadium. The game between the two rivals a week ago didn’t bring much of a surprise, nor a competition as Infonet easily cruised to the victory scoring 3 goals in each half to send the guests home with six pieces in their net. And there isn’t any special reason not to expect the same situation again this week. But can Zamogilnõi think of a tactics to contain the visitors from scoring?
Focus on KALEV (8/10, 5pt)
Tallinna Kalev is the team with the worst defense in the league, having conceded 34 goals in 9 matches, and their main aim when playing against teams from the upper part of the table is to try to contain them to the least number of goals as possible. Interestingly enough, they managed to get only two pieces from the leaders Kalju, but then again, 6 from the struggling Tammeka side on their home pitch. The recipe to stay in the top league is certainly getting the points against the weaker teams so it seems that there is nothing for them to look for in this match. Coach Zamogilnõi should field a team similar to the one from the previous match and that would mean captain Savitski on the goal after missing the last match, Heintare and Aleksei Savitski in central defense while Heliste and Gavrilov should go back to their full-back positions. In central midfield we could expect to see Rump and Aru, Omanidze on the left flank, Koger on the right and Välja behind Belov in attack.
As said before, many coaches in Premium Liiga use this formation and so is the case with Zamogilnõi. Tallinna Kalev managed to score only six goals so far and they certainly need to use their flanks a bit more on the counter if they are about to raise their tally. Koger and Omanidze definitely have the quality to exploit opposition’s mistakes and if they get enough balls forward they will most certainly try to make the most out of them.
Key-man: Aleksei Savitski
The robust defender of the home team had the role of a captain for the last match and he has to take advantage of that and bring stability in his team’s defensive line. We will definitely see a lot of battles between him and Infonet’s attack and it might be that he wins most of those battles.
Injuries and suspensions
It was expected to see Butlers back in the team, but he dislocated his shoulder during one of the trainings and is now facing a long spell on the sidelines. Karpov on the other hand is the only player with 3 yellow cards in the team and should he play, he must be very cautious in order to escape further suspension.
Focus on FC INFONET (5/10, 17pt)
Infonet are back in title contention after the two winless games and the games against Tallinna Kalev should be the perfect way for them to get back on the winning tracks and continue their quest. In the previous match they didn’t have any problems thrashing their opposition without giving them any chance for surprise and it might be expected for coach Pustov to land down the same team from last week. They had a very difficult game against Levadia in the Cup during the week, but the health card of the team seems excellent so we might expect to see Igonen between the sticks, Avilov and Kalimulin in front of him, Semakhin and Elhi on the full-back positions, Nahk and Melts on their standard central midfield positions, Harin and Lipin on the flanks and the internationals Aidara and Manucho in attack.
Needless to say coach Pustov also employs the same formation. Unlike his opponents, though, he has the men and the power in his squad to completely use it and even though they have scored only 17 goals (the least from the teams in the upper part of the table) it is expected for them to take the chance and improve their goal difference. Manucho already has 5 goals and it is just a matter of time when Lipin, Harin and Aidara will join him in the upper part of the goal scoring table of Premium Liiga.
Key-man: Kassim Aidara
The French has played all the games for Infonet so far this season, six of them in the first XI and three matches from the bench managing to write only one assist to his name. However, we all know about his scoring skills from last season when he was in Sillamäe and it is just a matter of time when he will finally get used to his new club’s style of playing and start scoring again. The match against Kalev may just be what he needs.
Injuries and suspensions
As we said earlier, even though they have a very tight calendar, the health card of the team from Tallinn looks excellent and coach Pustov should have the squad available for selection. Manucho and Avilov, however, should be the careful ones as they are one yellow card away from suspension.
Oleg Valov is fully recovered after a 14-day stop as he was fielded for 75' in the Cup semifinals again Levadia.
The main aim of Infonet will be to score an early goal and break Kalev’s spirit. That means that they will try to exploit the flanks as well as penetration through the middle by Aidara. If Kalev manages to hold them back for one half, an upset may be on the horizon since Infonet has had many matches lately and it is a big question how physically prepared their players are for 90 mins of attacking football.
INFONET VS. KALEV HEAD TO HEAD
Clashes in Premium Liiga: 5
Kalev’s wins: 2
Infonet's wins: 3
Goals scored by Kalev: 5
Goals scored by Infonet: 13
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Infonet's rows: Konstantin Nahk (DMF) 152 goals
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Kalev's rows: Aleksei Savitski (CB) 7 goals
More odds about this game here by
THE REFEREES SQUAD
(statistics courtesy of Heigo Niilop)
Kristo Tohver will direct this clash for the second time ever.
Last time it was almost one year ago (25th of May 2013) and still in Kalev Central Stadium. FC Infonet thrashed the home team 4-1. Tohver was quite busy as he had to show the yellow card six times (4 to Kalev and 2 to Infonet) and assigned a penalty to the visitors.
It will be his 230th game in Premium Liiga during which he has been showing 760 yellow cards (3.31), 28 red cards for double bookings and has sent off 38 players.
Lauri Salei and Veiko Mõtsnik will be their assistants on the touchline with Tomi Rahula overlooking the action from the technical area.
INFO ABOUT THE GAME
Kick-off at 19:00 EEST tonight, Friday the 2nd of May, in Kalev Central Stadium the game will not be streamed.
If you click 'Going' to the Facebook event the entrance is 2€ otherwise the ticket is 4€ (half price if you choose 'Going' after 5pm today and for the discounted categories: school children and pensioners).
If you hold a LHV Bank football card, the ticket is also 50% discounted.