The Premium Liiga’s two Kalev’s go head-to-head on Matchday 28, as Sillamae travel to Tallinn for a match-up involving two teams in vastly differing form.
Sillamae have won 7 on the bounce, overtaking Infonet into 4th in the process, and moving to within 6 points of the summit. Tallinna Kalev’s current form of form stretches even longer, but unfortunately for them their 10-match losing streak has seen them slip 9 points from safety.
Focus on Tallinna Kalev (9/10, 12pts)
Mid-season departures and unexplained player absences have added to Kalev’s plight, and some positive results for relegation rivals Tammeka has seen the gap to safety continue to stretch.
In their three matches against Sillamae this season, Kalev have conceded 20 goals. 6-0, 6-1 and 8-0 defeats do not bode well going into the match for the side second from bottom in the table, with the latter result coming in their last game on Matchday 27 two weeks ago.
Kalev could only name two substitutes in that match, and will be hoping that the likes of Lasha Omandize, Valeri Karpov, Ionel Armean and Johannes Kukebal are able to return to try and minimise the damage they are likely to suffer.
4-2-3-1 is the formation of choice for Kalev, although they often revert to 4-4-1-1 when the inevitable opposition onslaught takes hold. Edwin Stuf has been given the nod up front for the past two matches, but the rest of his attacking entourage is anyone’s guess as Kalev’s merry-go-round of a starting line-up looks set to continue.
Key man: Daniil Savitski
With a shower of shots expected to hit the Kalev goal, keeper Savitski is going to need to perform some serious heroics for his team. They can’t expect miracles from him, but a strong performance from their stopper might give them confidence to press forward themselves.
Injuries and Suspensions
Omanidze and Aleksei Savitski are a booking away from suspension.
Focus on Sillamae (4/10, 55pts)
Taking the plaudits for Sillamae this season is Evgeni Kabaev. His side have scored 21 goals in their last 4 games (including 3 against both Infonet and Levadia in 3-0 triumphs), and more impressively, Kabaev himself has scored 13 goals in his last 8 matches, netting in every single one of them.
Kabaev is likely to start again here in another 4-2-3-1 system. His support will come from Stanislav Murikhin on the right, Nikolai Mashichev on the left, and Kyrylo Silich just behind him. Daniil Ratnikob will be deployed in the centre of midfield, if not in place of Silich further forward, with Deniss Tjapkin alongside him.
Sillamae are the league’s top scorers and are in blistering form, but the focus will be on the effect of a two-week break. Kalev aren’t expected to cause them many problems, however, and anything less than a win by several goals will be considered surprising.
Key man: Evgeny Kabaev
Who else? The in-form striker will be looking to extend his incredible scoring run, and all eyes will be on him. He needs support from behind him, but his ability to create chances for himself could dig his side out of a hole if they happen to struggle.
Injuries and Suspensions
Volodin, Kvasov, Ratnikov, Sidorenkov, Murikhin and Mashichev are all one booking away from suspension, something which may factor into their starting line-up.
Whilst these two sides play with identical formations, their respective application of it varies greatly. Sillamae set up to attack, whilst Kalev have to be more sensible and tuck their wingers back to support. In matches against the bigger sides, rarely do Kalev venture too far into their opponents half, so Sillamae will have some work to do in simply getting past bodies.
Kalev are guilty of leaving gaps in the middle of their midfield, and this is where the likes of Ratnikov and Silich can take control of the game. Kalev might choose to double up when marking Kabaev, but this will only create more gaps for his team-mates.
Expect to see much of the play in the middle of the Kalev half, with the Sillamae wingers coming inside to overload their opponents.
Tammeka JK Tartu VS. Narva Trans HEAD-TO-HEAD
(last 6 Premium Liiga Matches via WhoScored.com)
Kalev’s wins: 1
Sillamae's wins: 5
Goals scored by Kalev: 2
Goals scored by Sillamae: 31
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Kalev's rows: Lasha Omanidze (LM) 5 goals
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Sillamae's rows: Evgeny Kabaev (CF) 55 goals
ODDS (the figures may be subject to variation)
More odds about this game here by
(Sports > Football > Estonia > Meistriliiga)
THE REFEREES SQUAD
(statistics courtesy of Heigo Niilop)
The match director will be Mart Martin. He directed 61 games in Premium Liiga during which he showed 181 yellow cards (2,96), 3 red cards for a double booking and 5 straight reds.
Info about the game
The game will be played at Kalev Stadium, Tallinn on Saturday 13th September. Kick-off is at 13:00. Tickets cost 4 euros. Discounted and FB event attendee tickets are 2 euros.
There is no live streaming for this match.