League leaders Nomme Kalju will look to cement their place at the top of the lead this weekend as they face a scandal-hit Sillamae Kalev in Tallinn’s Kadriorg stadium.
The match sees two sides in differing situations go head to head; Sillamae led the table just a few short weeks ago, but three matches without a win, which has seen them slip to fifth place, a managerial change, and the recent revelation surrounding Maksi Papanov’s involvement in the ongoing match-fixing scandal has added a huge amount of salt to their growing wounds.
Kalju’s nine game unbeaten run (10 when counting their opening day victory over Infonet, which was later taken away from them), includes an ongoing five-match winning streak, and they now sit two points clear of Flora at the top of the table.
Focus on NÕMME KALJU (1/10, 23pt)
Kalju have the meanest defence in the league, having conceded just two goals so far. They can also boast the league’s deadliest attack; 26 goals scored has given them, by far, the biggest goal difference, a fact which shows exactly why they are the team to beat at the moment.
All the more impressive is the fact that they have done this without talismanic striker Damiano Quintieri, who has yet to feature following a ligament injury sustained in pre-season. Reports suggested that the Italian might be available for this game, and Quintieri himself is said to be pushing for inclusion, but we will have to see if this match has come too soon, as Kalju are unlikely to want to risk him.
Aside from Jarva’s continued absence for surgery on his nose, Kalju have a clean bill of health. Allan Kimbaloula will be looking to continue his positive week following his first call-up to the Congolese national team.
Kalju will likely start in their preferred formation of 4-4-1-1, with Wakui playing in the trequartista role behind Neemelo, and Allan and Mool supporting from the flanks. Despite Sillamae’s diminishing form, Kalju are likely to field a strong team here, and minimal changes to their strongest eleven are expected.
Key man: Allan Kimbaloula
Allan has had a good week and he will be buzzing going into this match. His pace and trickery on the wings will be key to Kalju taking advantage of Sillamae’s shaky situation, and if he can find himself some space away from their defensive midfield pair he is sure to be a thorn in their sides.
Previous reports on RdS
Focus on SILLAMÄE KALEV ( 5/10, 18pt)
Papanov was handed a season ban and will start that suspension against Kalju. His side’s three-match winless run has featured two defeats, including last weekend’s home reverse against Flora, but they remain unbeaten away from home this season.
Their current form is a worrying sign, and, coupled with the general cloud of controversy surrounding the club, a match away to the league leaders is the last thing they need right now. Their overall statistics don’t point to any real problems (25 goals scored, one shy of Kalju, and 11 goals conceded), but their recent form is the most imposing fact, and recently-installed manager Dobiza needs to halt it here.
Sillamae will also be without Sidorenkov following his departure from the club for a breach of contract, and Cheminava as a result of contractual issues, further examples of how their season is threatening to derail at high speed.
Sillamae have adopted the Premium Liiga’s seemingly favourite formation, 4-2-3-1, this season. Kvasov will lead the attack on his own, with support from Masitsev, Kabaev and Ratnikov, who is likely to replace Papanov.
Tjapkin and Ratnikov are both one booking away from suspension.
Key man: Daniil Ratnikov
Ratnikov will need to step up and fill the boots of Papanov going forward. This is his chance to prove his worth to the squad and his value in the attacking midfield trio needs to be shown.
Kalju’s attacking trio of Wakui, Mool and Allan will try to stretch Sillamae’s defensive midfield duo further than they can. Wakui’s running from deep is their first problem, with Allan’s unpredictability their second. If they can deal with that, they will look to get their own attacking midfield trio into the game. Kalju are unusual in that they don’t necessarily deploy out-and-out defensive midfielders, and this is an area of the pitch Sillamae might look to exploit. The game is sure to be won in the space, or lack of it, between each side’s midfield and defence, and the slightly varying setups of both teams should make for an interesting tactical duel.
KALJU VS. SILLAMÄE HEAD TO HEAD
Clashes in Premium Liiga: 25
Kalju’s wins: 9
Sillamäe's wins: 7
Goals scored by Kalju: 40
Goals scored by Sillamäe: 29
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Kalju's rows: Tarmo Neemelo (CF) 152 goals
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Sillamäe's rows: Vjatseslav Zahovaiko (CF) 175 goals - with the captain sidelined by an injury, the next in line is Nikolai Maśitsev (LM), 46 goals
ODDS (the figures may be subject to variation)
More odds about this game here by
THE REFEREES SQUAD
(statistics courtesy of Heigo Niilop)
The most important game of the matchday is entrusted to Kristo Tohver. The last time he directed Nõmme Kalju was in the 0-0 draw of the derby with Kalju, whereas he had Sillamäe when the Eastern Estonia club visited Tallinn to clash with Flora (1-1). He has directed this clash 6 times with a balanced output: 1 win Kalju, 1 win Sillamäe and 4 draws. 230 games in Premium Liiga, 763 yellow cards (3,31), 38 straight red cards and 28 red cards shown for double booking.
04.04.2009 Kalju – Kalev 1-3
8 yellow cards (5 Sillamäe, 3 Kalju), 1 sent off for second yellow (Vihrov, SIL)
08.08.2009 Kalju – Kalev 1-1
3 yellow cards ( 1 Kalju, 2 Sillamäe)
28.05.2011 Kalev – Kalju 1-1
4 yellow cards ( 3 Sillamäe, 1 Kalju)
16.03.2013 Kalev – Kalju 1-1
3 yellow cards (2 Sillamäe, 1 Kalju) one penalty for Sillamäe
18.06.2013 Kalju – Kalev 0-0
5 yellow cards (3 Kalju, 2 Sillamäe)
28.09.2013 Kalju – Kalev 1-0
9 yellow cards (6 Sillamäe, 3 Kalju ) one penalty for Kalju
INFO ABOUT THE GAME
Kick-off tomorrow, Saturday 10th of May, at 16:00 EEST in Kadriorg Park Stadium.
The game will be streamed by ETV here.
Ticket price at the entrance is 10€, 2,5€ if bought earlier via Piletilevi ticket system (here), 3,5€ if participating to the Facebook event .
Children up to 6 years get in for free accompained by adults.
2,5€ for pensioners and children between 7 and 14 years of age.
Nõmme Kalju are organizing entertainment at the game with Nõmme Kalju Dance Team and freestyler Eno Lints.
It will be a 'family day' event with special entertainment for the little ones.