Focus on LOKOMOTIV JÕHVI (10/10, 1pt)
Last week it was not one of the easiest since Lokomotiv has joined the Premium Liiga.
With Viktors Nesterenko fired by the club managament, also his son, defender Bogdan, has left the club leaving the squad thin on defenders. An additional problem for Tikhomirov to deal with considering Loko's defence is the third most beaten following Kalev and Tammeka. The defensive flaws were evident also in Paide as Loko conceded three goals to the home team that had never scored and won a game before in central Estonia.
Notwithstanding the dramatic situation, the squad is trying to release a bit of pressure and ease the tension. On Wednesday, there was a football tennis competition followed by a team barbecue (click to enlarge picture on the left) as an attempt to create a good bond off the pitch that would, ideally, turn into a more cohesive attitude tomorrow when taking on Paide again.
Tikhomirov has proved not to change much compared to Nesterenko and stuck to the most exploited formation in the Premium Liiga (4-2-3-1). He is hopeful to recover Maksim Bazjukin, sidelined one week ago. Maxime Mboungo is cautioned and will miss next game (Levadia) if he will collect another yellow card tomorrow.
Left full-back, Dmitri Smirnov, has attended all the 9 games for the entire duration supplying two assists (Loko have scored only 3 goals).
Key-man: Andrei Jõgi
The 31-year-old striker is the oldest and most experienced player of the XI and should guide the rest of the troop on the pitch. He will be important in helping his XI to make transitions and trying to bring dangers to Paide's box. He can definitely open his goal tally on the home grass.
Focus on PAIDE LINNAMEESKOND (6/10, 12pt)
The first home win boosted Paide's morale as they are about to take their first trip to Eastern Estonia this season. It was the third win, second in a row, and now Rooba&Co. see the good chance to put another one together and confirm themselves as the best side of the drop-zone (five clear of Trans and five short of FC Infonet).
Except Uwa, the XI is in good conditions. The squad trained in Kadriorg Park Stadium yesterday to be ready for the grass pitch in Jõhvi (most of the times trainings take place on artificial grass for the team members based in Tallinn).
Veteran Liivo Leetma (36 caps in the Estonian national team) played his second seasonal game and all hints at Rooba willing to use his experience again against Loko. Sander Rõivassepp brace last week might have marginalized Swedish Atié Said to the bench as the Estonian right wing seems to have well adapted to the main striker role supported by Tomson (left) and Goldberg (right) and opening spaces for Kõll's incursions into the box (one of those provided the penalty that opened the confrontation last weekend). Rooba will not change the collaudated front line accounting for 7 goals out of the 10 overall.
Key-man: Sander Rõivassepp
Against Loko's light defense, the Paide nr.14 has opened his seasonal tally equalling last year's record (2 in 32 games). There's a good chance he can score again and help Paide to travel back home with another large result.
Previous reports on RdS
FC Levadia vs. Paide
FC Flora vs. Paide
FC Infonet vs. Paide
It will be another complicated Saturday for Lokomotiv rearguard facing the firing power of Paide front line. Tomson and Goldberg will keep Ivanjusin and Smirnov constantly busy compelling the Loko's wings to drop for double teaming. Once Loko is curled up, it is very hard for them to come out on counterattacks giving time to oppositions to re-organize and occupy any space. Jõgi will have to help a lot his teammates by trying to hold the ball and give time to come out. It will not be an easy task against the likes of Indermitte and Palatu towering the defence.
PAIDE VS. LOKOMOTIV HEAD TO HEAD
Clashes in Premium Liiga: 1
Lokomotiv’s wins: 0
Paide's wins: 1
Goals scored by Lokomotiv: 0
Goals scored by Paide: 3
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Lokomotiv's rows: Maksim Bazjukin (RMF) 36 goals
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Paide's rows: Rasmus Tomson (MF) 35 goals
More odds about this game here by
THE REFEREES SQUAD
(statistics courtesy of Heigo Niilop)
After taking Tammeka for 3 times in a row (and another Tartu club, Santos, in the cup semifinal), Kristo Külljastinen will travel to Eastern Estonia for a change.
It's not the first time he will go there for Jõhvi as he has done it on matchday 4 when Loko lost to Kalev Tallinn (0-1).
When comes to Paide instead, he has refereed his former club (played 7 games for Paide) twice: one was the 4-2 win in Tartu two weeks ago (the one that made Indrek Koser move criticism) and the one before that was a Paide's loss against Flora on matchday 2 (0-5 in Tallinn).
His overall balance from these previous games when comes to cards is equal: 4 for Paide players and 4 for the oppositions.
This will be just his 18th game in Premium Liiga: 69 yellows (4.05), 1 red card for double booking and still no one sent off.
His job will be supported by Dmitri Vinogradov and Jaanus Mutli on the touchlines. Toomas Nõmmiste will be the fourth official.
INFO ABOUT THE GAME
The kick-off time is tomorrow (Saturday the 29th of April) at 13:00 EEST at Jõhvi City Stadium and the game will not be streamed.
The ticket will be 1€.