Kalju Look to Avoid Lokomotiv Derailment
Nomme Kalju travel to Lokomotiv Johvi looking to continue their revival from two straight defeats to Levadia and Flora. They will be looking to at least match their 3-0 win over Paide last week, with Johvi sitting rock bottom of the table, winless all season and having collected just three points in total.
Focus on Johvi
Just nine goals scored and 45 conceded in 16 games shows the problems Lokomotiv have. Two of their three points have been gained at home, and they both came in successive matches, prior to their 2-0 home defeat to Narva last week.
Kevin Kaivoja returns from injury and will slot back into defensive midfield alongside Vitaly Kutuzov, helping to form what is another 4-2-3-1 formation. Lasha Naveriani, Svjatoslav Jakovlev, Malkhaz Garsevanishvili and Andrei Jogi are likely to form the front foursome. Dmitri Smirnov and Aleksandr Vladimirov should continue at right and left back respectively, with Yegor Potapov and Aleksandr Zahherenkov in the centre of defence. There may be a place for Deniss Kuliokov, who has started the last three games in three different positions.
Key man: Kevin Kaivoja
If Kalju are to have any success through Wakui in the centre of the pitch, they will have to evade Kevin Kaivoja, whose role in defensive midfield will be key to minimising the threat. Kalju will deploy two tricky wingers, so keeping an eye on the whole width of the pitch will be Kaivoya’s task. It will be thankless, no doubt, but he needs to be on top form to prevent Kalju running riot.
Focus on Kalju
Just three games ago, Kalju were sitting pretty at the top of the league having lost just one game all season (that only being due to an administrative infringement on matchday 1). Two successive 1-0 defeats to their title rivals highlighted their inability to break down stubborn defences, but the return of talismanic striker Damiano Quintieri in recent weeks will give them reason to hope.
They started with both Quintieri and Tarmo Neemelo in their 3-0 win over Paide last week, and it is expected that the same will happen again here as they seek to get the Italian firing. Kalju’s 4-4-1-1 formation breaks the Premium Liiga mould, although in attack it looks more like a familiar 4-2-3-1/4-1-4-1.
Assuming boss Prins resists the urge to rotate his squad, Wakui will play his regular trequartista role in behind Neemelo, with Quintieri and Allan supporting from the flanks. Janar Toomet’s impressive recent form may see him retain his place as he did ahead of Allan last time out. Martin Vunk should be partnered by Fabio Prates in the centre of midfield as a more attacking option than Reginald.
If Prins does decide to tinker, expect to see Robert Kirss, Karl Mool and/or Juri Jevdokimov slot into the attacking part of the line-up, with Jorge Rodrigues given an increasingly rare run-out in defence.
Martin Vunk is one yellow card away from suspension, and this may come into Prins’ thinking with more challenging games on the horizon.
This match will be all about Kalju, and anything but a damage limitation exercise for Johvi will be considered a huge surprise. Their lack of support at the sharp end of the pitch was highlighted against Levadia and Flora, but their setup should be enough to see them over-run the Johvi defence here.
Expect to see plenty of running at, and in behind, the Johvi defence from the Kalju wingers, with Wakui looking to exploit space in the middle that the wingers can help create. Vunk and Prates will see plenty of the ball, and with options left, right and centre, they will be spoilt for choice.
Johvi’s best hope is on the counter, but Kalju are unlikely to commit too many players forward and the match is likely to see them rack up another clean sheet.
LOKOMOTIV JOHVI VS. NOMME KALJU HEAD TO HEAD
(only one match played between the two teams via WhoScored.com)
Lokomotiv Johvi’s wins: 0
Nomme Kalju’s wins: 1
Goals scored by Lokomotiv Johvi: 0
Goals scored by Nomme Kalju: 2
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Lokomotiv Johvi's rows: Maksim Bazjukin (RMF) 36 goals
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Nomme Kalju's rows: Tarmo Neemelo (CF) 160 goals
ODDS (the figures may be subject to variation)
More odds about this game by
THE REFEREES SQUAD
(statistics courtesy of Heigo Niilop)
The game in Jõhvi will be administered by Elar Tarkus, at his 13th appearance in Premium Liiga. In the previous 12 games he showed 31 yellow cards and 1 red card for double booking. He never pulled out a straight red from his pocket.
Dmitri Vinogradov and Riivo Stolts will help from the touchlines while
Marger Pormann will overlook from the touchline.
INFO ABOUT THE GAME
Game in Jõhvi City Stadium. No live broadcast available.