FOCUS ON LOKOMOTIV (10/10, 4pt)
The 0-0 grabbed against Paide home was the third draw at home this season since Loko have not managed to win a game yet: 19 games, 4 draws and 15 losses is the disheartening picture of the club that will probably be the first to be relegated this season. If the loan of Volchkov and Lazebny has solved the defensive problems (just 3 goal suffered in two games (never happened this season) it will be stress tested by Levadia's and its topscorer, Igor Subbotin.
Ivanovs is still out and will be for a little while longer. Rudomin will face suspension following his double booking against Paide Linnameeskond last week.
Key-man: Maksim Bazjukin
The most experienced man in Śkaleta XI is the one who could create some chance for Loko in Levadia's half. He already hit Kalju before the 2013 runners-up pulled level and eventually won 3-1
FOCUS ON LEVADIA (2/10, 44 pts)
The delusion for the 7-0 suffered in Prague is big, however the gap between the Estonian Champions and the Polish Champions was once and again evident. Marko Kristal admitted Levadia played like a Premium Liiga side, hinting at the fact that the domestic league is certainly as not competitive as the Gambrinus Liga (from next season it will be renamed after the new sponsor as Synot Liga). Playing almost every weekend an opponent which gives the possibility of scoring 6/7 goals (if not 9!) is certainly more of a training game than of a competitive one. It's an issue that probably will have to be taken by the Estonian FA in assessing the future organization of the Premium Liiga. In Prague Kristal fielded a defensive 4-5-1, however the XI, not used to this kind of mental set-up (defending your own half for 90 minutes plus injury time) completely collapsed under Lafata&Co. hits. Lokomotiv Jõhvi comes across as a perfect medicine to cure delusion and continue the chase of Flora for the Premium Liiga title. After all, the return game in Tallinn will be a pure formality and probably the most competitive way to prepare the next clash with FC Infonet on the 26th of July.
Ivanov did not travel to Prague to take part into the saddest chapter of Levadia's European history. He might well be spared the game against Loko to be back in shape against FC Infonet and, most of all, in the derby against Flora (4th of August) which will be worth the title. Vukobratovic is suspended, whereas Artjunin and the same Ivanov, they are one card away from their first suspension.
Key-man: Igor Subbotin
15 goals and counting. Marko Kristal probably did not expect the young right flanker with a nr.10 on his back to be a deadly striker. However he is pleased with the discovery since Igor has basically solved the striker's dilemma and, together with Ivanov, has brought 29 goals into Levadia's safe (half of the tally). Against Lokomotiv he can hit several.
Kristal will bring Subbotin back behind Teever and with El-Hussieny on the left, the Loko defence will be overloaded with attack. The game might be very similar to the one Levadia suffered in Prague. Volchkov might offer some wits against his former club by guiding the defence, however it will be very hard for Smelkov&Co. Śmiśko my keep increasing his clean sheet record (since 5th of April).
LOKOMOTIV JÕHVI VS. LEVADIA HEAD TO HEAD
(last 6 matches via WhoScored.com)
Lokomotiv’s wins: 0
Levadia’s wins: 2
Goals scored by Lokomotiv: 0
Goals scored by Levadia: 10
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Lokomotiv's rows: Maksim Bazjukin (RMF) 37 goals
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Levadia's rows: Ingemar Teever (CF) 122 goals
ODDS (the figures may be subject to variation)
More odds about this game by
BETTING TIP (by Angelo Palmeri)
Levadia have been hurt by the European humiliation, and the pain has increased especially after seen that domestic rivals last season (Kalju) won 1-0 against Lech Poznan. There is little that Loko will be able to do against their thirst of revenge. Goals will pour into Loko's net. The Over 3,5 with Optibet is really good: 1.69
Tip: Over 3,5
Odd: 1.69 (figure may be subject to variation)
THE REFEREES SQUAD
(statistics courtesy of Heigo Niilop)
The game is entrusted to Kristo Külljastinen.
21 games for the former Paide footballers, 81 yellow cards shown (3,85 per game) and never the need to show a straight red to anyone. Nonetheless, he gave a red card for double booking only once.
He will be assisted by Aron Härsing and Jan Roos on the touchlines with Igor Kübarsepp overlooking from the technical area
INFO ABOUT THE GAME
Kick-off at 19:00 EEST (18:00 CEST) at Jõhvi City stadium on Friday the 18th of July), the game will not be streamed.
The ticket will be 1€.