Narva Trans travel to the capital looking to make it two wins from two following their 2-0 win at Johvi last matchday. The country’s most Easterly side saw their manager Valeri Bondarenko depart this week, and in a trip to Kalev, who were mauled 9-0 by Levadia last time out, they hope to see their mini revolution continue.
FOCUS ON KALEV
Kalev’s 9-0 defeat by Levadia followed a 2-1 win over relegation rivals Lokomotiv Johvi, which was only their second win of the season. They currently sit in 9th place, six points above Johvi, and one behind Tammeka, but five behind their opponents here, meaning a defeat would lower them closer to the flames of relegation.
A small glimmer of hope, however, may be in that they have taken points in both of their previous two home games, although both of those games were against the two other teams in the relegation zone.
Their 4-2-3-1 formation will be spearheaded by Aleksei Belov, with Raiko Karpov returning from suspension on the right of the midfield. Lasha Omanidze will provide support from the left, with Nikita Koger likely to return to the squad in place of Albert Anissimov.
The defensive midfield and central defensive partnership appears to be subject to rotation, with Aleksei Savitski, Edgars Butlers and Egert Heintare more or less guaranteed place somewhere in that foursome, with Johannes Kukebal and Juri Gavrilov the regular full backs.
Omanidze is currently on three yellow cards, so a caution here will see him miss the next game against Sillamae.
Key man: Lasha Omanidze
The left-winger will be a key part of Kalev’s attack, as they will need to make use of their wide outlets. Omanidze has three goals in 11 games this season, but it will be his creative ability in providing chances for Belov that might be most required here.
FOCUS ON NARVA TRANS
Bi Sehi Elysee Irie and Tanel Tamberg should return to the squad, after being left out last time to avoid them picking up their fourth caution of the season. However, Vladislav Fjodorov is suspended this time, and his place up front could be filled by Andrejs Sinicins or Artjom Shkinjov. Narva’s lack of a settled starting line-up could see another surprise sprung, however, with the attacking section of their team far from clear cut, although Viktor Plotnikov has been one of the more settled choices.
Their regular formation, also 4-2-3-1, may also be under threat as a change in management could see some tinkering.
Key man: Siim Tenno
The midfielder is Narva’s top scorer this season with four goals. He is also a key part of their defensive midfield line, which will be expected to deal with the threat of any central attack that Kalev will pose. He also needs to be at his best to help stop Kalev getting down the wings, with his ability to starts attacks also required.
Assuming no change is made to Narva’s formation following their managerial shake-up, both teams are likely to line-up in identical formations, meaning a battle of individual performances. Both wingers for each team will be expected to track back to support their full backs, so their ability to do this, along with their ability to break forward, will be key to taking the points.
Both side’s deployment of two defensive midfielders is likely to deal with the threat of the opposition’s sole attacking midfielder, so the importance of the effectiveness of the wingers is further highlighted. If one team plays narrower than the other, it could overload the midfield and place a greater reliance and good passing and movement. However, with neither side in particularly good form, nor having had a season to remember, it is likely that some direct play will be the order of the day.
TALLINNA KALEV vs. NARVA TRANS HEAD TO HEAD (last 6 matches)
Kalev’s wins: 0
Narva’s wins: 4
Goals scored by Kalev: 5
Goals scored by Narva: 17
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Kalev's rows: Aleksei Belov (CF) 8 goals
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Narva's rows: Stanislav Kitto (CB) 55 goals
ODDS (the figures may be subject to variation)
More odds about this game by
THE REFEREES SQUAD
(statistics courtesy of Heigo Niilop)
Mart Martin takes charge here. His 57 Premium Liiga matches have seen 169 yellow cards, and just 6 reds (3 for double bookings and 3 straight dismissals).
INFO ABOUT THE GAME
Kick-off at 13:00 EEST in Kalev Central Stadium.
4€ the entrance fee, discounted categories 2€ and Facebook event 'Going'