New derby at the Kadriorg stadium and what a derby it should be. The hosts are in desperate need for win if they want to continue their title chase as now they are 5 points behind the leading two teams. The away team comes with two draws in a row against another two top performers and they will definitely have point to prove unless they want the title to slip away from their hands. Let’s see what to expect from both teams.
Focus on Kalju Nõmme (3/10, 49 pts)
Igor Prins’ team is in an unpleasant two-game winless streak that kind of distanced them from the title race. As our Chris Jones mentioned in his tactical analysis, the title race should be decided in the games between the top 4 teams and this is exactly the match Kalju can’t afford to lose. In the mid-week fixture they had easy 18-0 win in the cup, but the real physical and mental strenght of the team should be tested today. The coach has a long bench and can afford to rest players for almost every match. However, the stakes for this one are too high and we might expect to see the best starting XI at his disposal.
Telesh on the goal, Bärengrub and Reintam in central defense, Kallaste and Mööl will probably again take on the full-back positions, Vunk and Reginald in the center of the park, and the main trouble for him comes on the flanks where Allan is injured for a long time but the news from Nõmme say that Quintieri also sustained an injury that might mean end of the season for the lively Italian winger. In that case we could see Nunes and Puri take on the opposition’s defense from the sides while Wakui as usual should play behind Neemelo.
Key-man: Alo Bärengrub
The captain was partnered by Rodrigues against Levadia and that didn’t bring them result. It is expected to see Reintam alongside him for this match with whom he played most of the season so far and thus create much formidable partnership in an attempt to stop Flora’s attacks. Should that work, most of the work will be done.
Injuries and suspensions
The list of injured players is quite long and it involves some of the most important players for the team. As mentioned Allan’s season is over, Sisov is still out with twisted ankle, Fabio Prates is also sidelined and now Quintieri is also added to the list.
Focus on FC Flora (1/10, 54 pts)
The leaders are also in a two-game winless streak but they still manage to maintain their first position (at the moment same points as Levadia but a game less). They also had an easy mid-week fixture in the cup thrashing Kose with 13-0 which was supposed to be a light training before the game that might define the course of the title race. Coach Norbert Hurt faces several problems considering the starting XI as Karol Mets is not eligible to play because of suspension. That means Prins on the goal, Rähn will definitely command the central defense but we should wait and see if his partner will be the experienced Sander Post or Hurt will decide to give chance to the younger ones. Aloe and Jürgenson should be back to their full-back positions, Lepistu and Luigend should also command the center of the park once again and the front line as usual, Logua and Alliku on the flanks, Beglarishvili behind Prosa.
Key-man: Karl-Eerik Luigend
The young midfielder showed sparks of why he was chosen in the top 10 players to watch from the EC-19 that was played in Estonia. His creativity and vision have been crucial in many matches for Flora this season and we might expect to see more of him for this match.
Injuries and suspensions
As mentioned before, Mets is suspended, Frolov still sidelined, while Baranov is in race against time for fitness. The more important thing are the yellow cards. Hurt doesn’t tend to change his team very often and many of his players managed to pick a lot of cards. That is why Baranov, Rähn, Gussev, Prosa and Luigend are one yellow card away from suspension.
Typical 4-2-3-1 nurtured by both coaches in which we can expect lot of battles in midfield. The injuries of the key players of Kalju might give slight advantage to Flora, but in a derby one touch can mean everything. Flora’s wingers are in great form, but Kalju has Wakui who proved to be a key man in many games this season.
KALJU NÕMME VS. FC FLORA HEAD TO HEAD (last 6 matches via WhoScored.com)
Flora’s wins: 2
Goals scored by Kalju: 10
Goals scored by Flora: 8
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Kalju's rows: Juri Jevdokimov (CF) 77 goals
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Flora's rows: Albert Prosa (CF) 78 goals
ODDS (the figures may be subject to variation)
More odds about this game here by
Betting Tip (by Chris Johns)
Kalju seem to struggle against the big teams, while Flora are going about their business without setting the world on fire. 2.49 for either side to win shows how close this one is likely to be, but Kalju need the points more in order to close the gap to their opponents.
That being said, it’s unlikely that Flora will go all out for the win, and Kalju’s attacking struggles are likely to remain. A draw seems the most likely outcome.
THE REFEREES SQUAD
(statistics courtesy of Heigo Niilop)
The main referee is Eiko Saar. 192 games behind his name in which he has shown 600 yellow cards, 20 straight red cards and 23 red cards for second yellow.
Info about the game
The game will be played at Kadriorg stadium. Kick-off at 16:00. Kalju Nõmme are known for their interesting ticket policy. If you buy it at the stadium it costs 10 eur, FB attending will give you ticket for 3.5 eur (even here) and if you get it from piletilevi.ee it costs 2.5, which is the price for kids up to 14 and pensioners.
Live streaming will be also available by ERR here.