Narva Trans’ slow, steady implosion looks set to continue as they travel to the capital to play Levadia. Manager dismissal’s, match-fixing scandals and player departures have undermined Narva’s season, and successive defeats to Kalev and Tammeka leaves Estonia’s most easterly team spiralling towards the drop zone.
Levadia have won five on the bounce and are 17 matches unbeaten in the league. Recent 7-0 and 19-0 wins over La Fiorita and Kalev Junior in European and domestic cup ties see them go into this with blood on their lips, seeking further prey in the form of a destabilised Narva Trans.
FOCUS ON LEVADIA (2/10, 41 pts)
Levadia’s trend-breaking 4-4-2 formation will see the in-form Ingemar Teever start up front alongside the recently prolific Igor Subbotin, as Vladislav Ivanov remains sidelined with a slight knock.
Newly-signed Jan Penic may make his debut on the left wing, and Heiko Tamm has started the last two matches on the left so may be given some additional game time here. Omar Elhusseiny could step up his return from injury with a start, and Aleksandr Kulinits’ good performance against La Fiorita last time out might see him retain his place on the right of midfield in front of Penic.
Ilja Antonov should retain his place in the centre of midfield, although Dragomir Vukobratovic is one yellow card away from his second suspension of the season, meaning he may not be risked here, with Andreas Raudsepp in line to take his place. New signing Toni Tipuric should continue in the centre of defence.
Vladislav Ivanov and Artjom Artjunin are both one yellow card away from suspension. Vukobratovic is one yellow card away from his second suspension of the season.
Injuries: Long term absentee Artur Rattel remains the only player to miss out here.
Key man: Igor Subbotin
Whether on the right of midfield or alongside Teever up front, Subbotin will be looking to carry his excellent form into this match. The whole of Levadia's attacking line will want to put in a strong performance as a unit, and Subbotin will be key in achieving this.
FOCUS ON NARVA TRANS (7/10, 15 pts)
In another 4-2-3-1 formation, Artjom Skinjov should lead the attacking line, with Viktor Plotnikov and Vadim Mihhailov supporting from the wings. Andrejs Sinicins and Sergejs Misins will take up the defensive midfield responsibilities in light of Siim Tenno’s recent departure, with Vladislav Fjodorov sitting in front of them.
Tanel Tamberg and Bi Sehi Elysee Irie are still sidelined with injury, but Roman Nesterovski should return from suspension after his dismissal at Kalev, as should Vitali Andrejev following his suspension for collecting four yellow cards. German-Guri Lvov may have to make do with a place on the bench, as his move to left back to cover Andrejev’s absence last time out could mean he misses out.
Nesterovsky is close to another suspension, as he has collected three yellow cards this season. Fjodorov is also one booking away from suspension, his second of the season.
Injuries: Tamberg and Irie remain injured for this one, and their absences are a real blow for Narva.
Key man: Viktor Plotnikov
Plotnikov has scored both of Narva's last two goals in their defeats to Kalev and Tammeka. They will need him to continue this run of form if they are to have any chance of getting something here.
Narva may try to overload Levadia in midfield, so Levadia’s wingers may be the key to breaking the visitors down. If Narva can break, their three-pronged attack, supported by Fjodorov, could cause Levadia some problems, but their two-man, defensively-minded midfielders should be able to deal with them. Levadia’s attack is in scintillating form at the moment, and their sheer quality should be enough to get around Sinicins and Misins.
FC LEVADIA TALLINN VS. JK NARVA TRANS HEAD-TO-HEAD
(last 6 Premium Liiga Matches via WhoScored.com)
Levadia's wins: 4
Narva’s wins: 1
Goals scored by Levadia: 8
Goals scored by Narva: 2
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Levadia's rows: Ingemar Teever (CF) 121 goals
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Narva's rows: Stanislav Kitto (CB) 55 goals
ODDS (the figures may be subject to variation)
More odds about this game available at
BETTING TIP (by Angelo Palmeri)
Is this another training game before taking on Sparata Prague away? Certainly Levadia will have to dose the energies ahead of the trip to Czech Republic. The Premium Liiga calendar is giving them the good advantage of not having very engaging opponents on their way. On the other hands, they are not pushing full throttle as seen against Paide (2-0). Considering Narva are amid a lot of squad problems and last week fielded a 15-year-old boy in the defence, it is very likely that Levadia will just need to push a bit to get better of Narva Trans. Optibet suggests an interesting 1.79 for the 'Odd' amount of goals at FT. What if it's a 3-0 this time?
Tip: Odd amount of goals at FT
THE REFEREES SQUAD
(statistics courtesy of Heigo Niilop)
Roomer Tarajev will direct his 107th game. In the previous 106 he showed 452 yellow cards (4,22 per game) and 14 red cards. 15 footballers were sent off for double booking.
Hannes Reinvald and Jaanus Mutli will be the assistants with Maikel Mikson overlooking from the touchline.
INFO ABOUT THE GAME
The game is played on Saturday the 12th of July at the Kadriorg stadium.
Kick-off scheduled for 19:00 EEST (18:00 CEST).
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 ETV2 here