Flora travel to Levadia on Monday looking to extend their lead at the top of the table to six points following Kalju’s 0-0 draw at Narva on Saturday.
Levadia have ideas of their own, however, as they sit two points behind Kalju in the table, and five behind opponents Flora. A win would put them within two points of the summit and recover the damage done by their 3-2 defeat to Infonet last week. A loss, on the other hand, would cast them eight points adrift and in danger of seeing their season slip away from them.
Focus on Levadia (3/10, 47 pts)
Levadia’s 19-match unbeaten league run came to an end at the hands of Infonet last weekend, as the hangover from their Champions League exit truly took hold. Levadia looked sluggish and lacking creativity, despite recovering a two-goal lead to draw level, and they looked buried once Manucho put the visitors back in the league late on.
A nine-day break will have done them the power of good though, and they hope to have concocted a strategy to dismantle a Flora side who are on a 16-match unbeaten run of their own.
Levadia are likely to stick with the XI that lost to Infonet, as it was arguably their strongest team. Ingemar Teever and Vladimir Ivanov will be the strikeforce, flanked by Jan Penic and Igor Subbotin from left to right.
Accompanying the four players that accounted for the goals and assists last weekend will be Marek Kaljumae and Andreas Raudsepp, with Ilja Antonov and Dragomir Vukobratovic waiting in the wings.
Artjom Artjunin is one booking away from suspension.
Artur Rattel remains Levadia's only long term absentee
Key man: Igor Subbotin
The right-winger has been in excellent goalscoring form this season, helping himself to 17 goals and the head of Levadia’s goalscoring chart. His finishing ability isn’t the only contribution he has made, however, as his trickery and deliveries will be of paramount importance of Levadia are to bounce back.
Focus on Flora (1/10, 52pts)
Flora’s 16-match unbeaten league run is sure to have been aided by their lack of involvement in European competition, and they have been able to rotate their squad with freedom. They have won their last eight straight matches, and their last six on the road.
Flora use the Premium Liiga favourite formation of 4-2-3-1, with Albert Prosa up top, supported by Irakli Logua, Zakaria Beglarishvili and Rauno Alliku from left to right.
Brent Lepistu and Karl-Erik Luigend should get the nod in the centre of midfield, with Andre Frolov still sidelined through injury. Martin Jurgenson shall continue at left back following his goalscoring exploits last weekend.
Albert Prosa, Nikita Baranov, Taavi Rahn, Tanel Mets and Maksim Gussev are all a booking away from suspension, so must tread carefully.
Kevin Aloe and Andre Frolov are a month away from a return.
Key man: Albert Prosa
Flora’s lone striker carries the responsibility of converting any chances laid on for him, and his predatory instincts will need to be sharp. Prosa has good support behind him, so his role as a link-up player in Flora’s often neat passing game will also be key.
Levadia’s traditional 4-4-2 system was undone by Infonet’s 4-2-3-1 last weekend, so Flora will be enthused by their own setup.
Levadia’s two-man central midfield were overrun by a three-man central midfield, and Flora are likely to pose an even stronger threat. Beglarishvili will look to cause problems in the middle to create space for Alliku and Logua on the wings. Flora’s second option is to try and split Kaljumae and Raudsepp by playing wide, leaving space for Beglarishvili to run into alongside Prosa. Alliku and Logua do like to come inside too, so they may simply look to out-man their opponents in the middle of the park.
Levadia will look to their two-pronged strikeforce of Teever and Ivanov, who have been on top form this year. Levadia are the league’s top scorers, and the added focus Flora will need to put on their defensive line might stump their attacking options at times.
LEVADIA TALLINN VS. FC FLORA HEAD-TO-HEAD
(last 6 Premium Liiga Matches via WhoScored.com)
Levadia’s wins: 3
Flora's wins: 1
Goals scored by Levadia: 7
Goals scored by Flora: 4
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Levadia's rows: Ingemar Teever (CF) 121 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 available here at
BETTING TIP (by Chris Johns)
The two matches between these sides so far this season have ended 0-0 and 1-1, and another close, tense affair is expected here. Flora are in marginally better form, but with this being a top of the table clash with high stakes, it’s unlikely that either side will risk too much.
Levadia could do with the win to claw back some of the gap, but it's unlikely that Flora will risk too much, and they will probably be happy with a draw.
Tip: X at full time
THE REFEREES SQUAD
(statistics courtesy of Heigo Niilop)
Kristo Tohver will take charge. He has 238 Premium Liiga games under his belt, showing 791 yellow card, and 67 reds (28 for two yellow cards).
INFO ABOUT THE GAME
Kick-off is Monday 4th August at 19:00 EEST at Kadriorg Stadium.
Ticket is 5€, discounted ticket for youngsters 8-18 years old and retired people is 2€. If you attend the event on Facebook (at least 2 hours before kick-off) the entrance fee is 2.5 euros. Link to the event here.
The game will be streamed by Postimees here.