FOCUS ON NÕMME KALJU FC (2/10, 49pts)
This time, the psychological advantage (or pressure, depends on viewpoints) of facing a derby knowing that your direct rival has equalized the day before, concerns Kalju. They will enter the Kadriorg grass pitch knowing that three points would put them just so close to Flora on the eve of what will probably be a decider of this season (Kalju-Flora on the 16th of August). If Prins side wants to bid for the title, they need to win at least one or more of these games and they need to start to do it today. In the previous four games against the city rivals, they have collected just two points as a result of 2 draws and 2 losses, 1 goal scored and 3 suffered. Small numbers that need to be enriched if clinching the second title is the only thing they have in mind.
As a mitigating circumstance, we cannot forget Kalju have suffered important injuries in the key-moment of the season when the European campaign kicks in and the Premium Liga is really getting going by establishing the hierarchies that generally last until the autumn.
Igor Prins might opt for another 4-4-1-1 as last week when he presented Wakui behind Nunes and Kallaste advanced to left flanker with Galpin behind him and Mööl in the unusual position of right full-back behind Quintieri. Unless he will opt for a more aggressive setup (4-2-3-1) with Eino Puri pairing Reginald in front of the Bärengrub-Rodrigues duo. After the good performances both in Europe and domestic, he might bring back the young Henri Pürg on right full-back and go on with the Galpin-Kallaste duo.
Kimbaloula season is over. Neemelo is still out for a while (until the end of the month at least) and Śiśov and Prates still out. Different situation for Martin Vunk. He started on the bench against Narva and then entered in the second half. In a training during the week, he pulled the same muscle that affected him in Sillamäe and will not take part into the derby. Among the other things, he is one card away from suspension as Damiano Quintieri.
KEY-MAN: Ken Kallaste
As a full-back he is already devastating. He is not suffering so much the absence of Kimbaloula with whom the entente in the overlapping job reached the sublimation. If Prins decides to give him the left flanker position again, he will have less meters to cover meaning more fuel till the bottom of the game. Levadia right side (Subbotin-Podholjuzin) could be put under serious stress and Ken can always find a sharp cross or devastating run-in to unsettle the defence.
FOCUS ON LEVADIA (3/10, 48pts)
Marko Kristal's football philosophy has always been very simple: we need to score goals. This is what Levadia lacked last week in Kadriorg in the derby against Flora. The dominated the game for an abundant sixty-minute of game but they managed to score just one goal on the resume. Too little considering that both Ivanov and Teever were nicely set up several times in front of Prins. Additionally, Levadia gave the game away during fifteen minutes when they dangerously retreated in their half and let the initiative to Flora. Kristal might opt to change attitude and order his XI to wait Kalju in their half with a compact line-up. After all, his 4-4-2 is perfectly suitable for this mindset and El-Hussieny on the left and Subbotin on the right, they are always ready to kick off quick counterattacks. Unless, this is our take, he might really considering a more aggressive attitude by fielding an unreleased 4-2-3-1 with Penic on the left flank and El-Hussieny behind Ivanov at the expenses of Teever who would sit on the bench ready to come on if critical mass will be needed (situation of disadvantage). Compared to the game against Flora, if Levadia will go 4-4-2 as usual, there will be more need of the central midfielders (Antonov) to participate into the build-up.
The long-time injury in Levadia is still Artur Rättel. Vukobratovic's issue seems to be more serious than expected. Shall he play, the Croatian midfielder is one card away from suspension as Antonov.
KEY-MAN: Omar El Hussieny
He can exert the same pressure on Kalju's right side as Kallaste will do with Levadia on the other side. He might be too much to handle for the young Pürg and might push Prins to place the jolly Eino Puri on the right back to contrast the Egyptian. He can already influence the game before the start compelling Prins to resort to a special chemistry to avoid dangers on that side (if Puri on the right back, Ainsaly might be given another start in midfield). Generally, he is always there when the game is really getting going and helps Levadia to come out of his half by holding the ball and bringing it forward as much as he can. If he manages to find the way to the goal, he can be crucial for the destinies of the game. On top of that, his long balls are among the most precise pass-picking of the Premium Liiga. We wonder what he could do from a trequartista position.
As highlighted above, the game will be decided on the flanks. If, contrary to the derby against Flora, also Subbotin will be in his best day, there will be additional troubles for Kalju and that might compel Kallaste to a more defensive attitude that would limit his initiatives.
NÕMME KALJU FC VS. LEVADIA HEAD-TO-HEAD
(last 6 Premium Liiga Matches via WhoScored.com)
Kalju’s wins: 1
Levadia's wins: 4
Goals scored by Kalju: 3
Goals scored by Levadia: 6
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Kalju's rows: Juri Jevdokimov (CF) 77 goals*
*NB: Tarmo Neemelo (CF) is Kalju's leading scorer with 160 goals, but misses out due to injury
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Levadia's rows: Ingemar Teever (CF) 121 goals
ODDS (the figures may be subject to variation)
More odds about this game available here at
BETTING TIP (by Angelo Palmeri)
The odds for Kalju and Levadia winning are exactly the same, a situation that reflects the impressions about this game: the two sides can be really even. In the past two games just one goal was scored (on penalty!) and breaking the balance was very hard. With the Under at 1.90, it could be a nice filler however, with the odds for X at FT we would say to go for it.
Tip: X at FT
THE REFEREES SQUAD
(statistics courtesy of Heigo Niilop)
Roomer Tarajev will direct the clash. 109 games in Premium Liiga during which he has shown 458 yellow cards, meaning he sails at 4,20 cards per game. The red cards are almost even: 16 shown for a second booking and 14 straight. If the game will get tough, he can become a protagonist too.
INFO ABOUT THE GAME
The match is played at the Kadriorg Stadium and starts at 16:00 today, the 9th of August2014.
The ticket costs 10€ if you buy it at the stadium, 3.5€ if you attend the event on Facebook and 2.5€ for retired people and kids (7-14 years old).
Match streamed by ETV here