Fearsome Levadia in hunt for the top of the table
After thumping the desperate Tammeka team in the previous round, Levadia is facing another team from the bottom part of the table. In front of their home crowd they are hosting the local rivals, Tallinna Kalev. Are Teever, Ivanov and co. going to continue their fine scoring form or can Kalev pull out a surprise and extend their unbeaten streak to three games?
Focus on Levadia (2/10, 32 pt.)
Marko Kristal has an excellent team and these games are an opportunity to give all his players a chance. Against Tammeka he rested Antonov who just came back from international duties and gave chance also to Tamm. We might expect to see a few changes as well for this match, although the basis of the team remains pretty much the same. Smisko, who might become the new record holder in Estonia if he manages to keep a clean sheet (9 games in a row so far), betweem the sticks, Artjunin and Podholjuzin in central defense, Pikk on the left full back and the Raudsepp on the right one. Kaljumäe should keep his position in the midfield, this time along with Antonov, Subbotin is probably going back to his right flank. Elhussieny suffered a slight injury against Tammeka and he is still not 100% sure so his position might be taken by Tamm or Rohtla and the front line should consist of Teever and Ivanov who scored 6 goals together in the previous match.
There is an saying that if something is not broken, there is no reason to fix it. Levadia’s formation functions perfectly and they have an excellent choice of players to fully utilize it. Their lively wingers are very dangerous on the counter and their forwards are in top scoring shape.
Key-man: Vladislav Ivanov
The striker was criticized at the beginning of the season for failing to adapt to the team’s style of playing, but after Buinickij left he finally got his chance and is currently the top scorer of the league with 11 goals in 13 appearances. Kalev’s defenders will definitely have hell of a job to stop him scoring in this one as well.
Injuries and suspensions
Rättel is the only injured player in the team. We mentioned that the situation with Elhussieny is not completely clear, but the chances are that he gets one game rest. Vukobratovic got his 4th yellow card against Tammeka which means he is also unavailable for this game due to suspension. Ivanov and Artjunin are the other two players who are a yellow card away from suspension too.
Focus on Kalev Tallinn (9/10, 9pt)
The team of Kalev managed to get 4 points in the last 2 games and now they are just a point away from a position that will keep their Premium Liiga status next season. The hard battle for the three points in the previous round showed that this team can and will try to avoid relegation. Coach Zamogilnõi shouldn’t make many changes from last week’s starting XI which means Savitski on the goal, Aleksei Savitski and Heintare in defense, Gavrilov and Kukebal on the full-back positions, Armean and Butlers in midfield, Omanidze should take his right flank, Naariste is expected to take the place of the suspended Karpov on the left flank and Koger as usual should play behind Belov.
The return of Armean and Butlers in midfield means much more stable game and the constant pressure by Koger, Naariste and Omanidze on the ball might just do the trick for Zamogilnõi in his attempt to pull out a shock against the champions.
Key-man: Lasha Omanidze
The lively winger had a more advanced role in the previous game against Lokomotiv and completely used it scoring two goals. He proved to be very dangerous on the counter and if given space he can cause damage to Levadia’s defense.
Injuries and suspensions
Whole squad is healthy and available to play, except for Karpov who got his 4th yellow card and is suspended for this game. Omanidze is the only player in danger of getting a suspension for the next match should he receive a yellow card against the reigning champions.
Even though everyone expects a one-sided match, Kalev will certainly have a word in this game. If Armean and Butlers manage to halt the attacks of Levadia in the middle of the park and send enough balls forward towards Omanidze and Belov, Smisko will definitely have trouble achieving his record. However, the quality of Levadia’s forwards and their incredible form of late suggests that they will attack from the very beginning in an attempt to break Kalev’s defense early on and crash the opponent as they did against Tammeka in the previous round.
Levadia VS. Kalev Tallinn HEAD TO HEAD
(last 6 matches via WhoScored.com)
Levadia’s wins: 6
Kalev’s wins: 0
Goals scored by Levadia: 23
Goals scored by Kalev: 2
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Levadia's rows: Ingemar Teever (CF) 120 goals
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Kalev's rows: Aleksei Belov (CF) 8 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 Estonian international and top referee, Hannes Kaasik, will direct the game in Kadriorg. 241 games, 711 yellow cards (2,95 per game) 27 red cards for a second yellow and 25 straight reds.
He will be helped by Jaanus Mutli and Martin Lember on the touchlines and Martin Salong will overlook from the technical area.
INFO ABOUT THE GAME
The game is played on Sunday at the Kadriorg stadium.
Kick-off scheduled for 16:00 EEST tomorrow, Sunday the 15th of June. Ticket is 5 euros, discounted ticket for youngsters 8-18 years old and retired people is 2 euros. 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 ERR Sport (link here few minutes before the game)