The team of Lokomotiv Jõhvi for the first time this season can feel the survival within their reach and the game against the leaders Flora doesn’t come at a very good time for them. After showing some good football and managing to gather points in two of the last three games they are now facing the main title contenders in an attempt to cause a huge upset and at the same time pave their way towards Premium Liiga football next season. But will Flora have any of that or will they break the bottom team early on?
Focus on Lokomotiv Jõhvi (10/10, 9 pts)
As mentioned before, the worst team of the league so far started showing some interesting football of late and now they are only 3 points behind Tallinna Kalev in the race for the position that will take them to the play-offs to avoid relegation. Huge motivation, but at the same time huge responsibility for the young players from Jõhvi. Coach Skaleta didn’t make many changes in the team that faced Kalju and they were still thrashed with 5-1. However, against Flora they will have their home crowd behind them and much better display can be expected. We can expect to see Smelkov on the goal, Volchkov and Potapov in central defense, Smirnov and Vladimirov on the full-back positions, Jegorov and Alania in central midfield, Bazjukin should be back on the flank with Naveriani and Kaivoja playing forward behind Nikulin.
Key-man: Valeri Smelkov
The 24-year old captain of the team will have huge responsibility in this match. His saves will be more than needed considering the fact that probably there will be many shots to stop from Flora’s frontline. If he manages to deliver, the home crowd may hope for another sensational result.
Injuries and suspensions
Besides Ivanovs, coach Skaleta can count on all the players in his squad for selection.
Focus on FC Flora (1/10, 58 pts)
A twist of events brought FC Flora back on top after only one round. Now coach Norbert Hurt promises to keep that position till the end of the season and break the Kalju-Levadia dynasty of late. His players looked confident and played in good rhythm against Paide in the previous match (see the report here) and there are absolutely no reasons not to continue in that pace. For the match in the eastern part of the country we might expect to see a team very similar to the one that faced Paide, which means Prins on the goal, Rähn and Mets in defense, Jürgenson and Aloe on the full-back positions. Slein had a great game replacing the suspended Luigend and it will be last minute coach decision if the 18-year old did enough to earn another start or he won’t risk and let Luigend take over with Lepistu in midfield, Logua should again be on his left flank, Alliku and Gussev are fighting for the right flank and Beglarishvili should be deployed once again behind Prosa in attack.
Key-man: Zakaria Beglarishvili
The miniature Georgian showed great class and incredible passing skills against Paide and another stellar performance by him will be very much needed to break Lokomotiv’s defensive lines.
Injuries and suspensions
Frolov and Baranov are still not fully recovered, but the rest of the squad is available for selection.
Flora will definitely try to push and score early on to break Loko’s spirit, but at the same time they showed few times this season that they can be fragile on the counter. Disciplined game from both teams can be expected and probably the inspirational display by certain players will solve this game.
Lokomotiv Jõhvi VS. FC Flora HEAD TO HEAD (last 2 matches via WhoScored.com)
Note: this is only the third time that these two teams play against each other.
Lokomotiv’s wins: 0
Flora’s wins: 2
Goals scored by Lokomotiv: 0
Goals scored by Flora: 6
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Lokomotiv's rows: Maksim Bazjukin (RMF) 38 goals
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Flora's rows: Albert Prosa (CF)78 goals
ODDS (the figures may be subject to variation)
More odds about this game here by
THE REFEREES SQUAD
(statistics courtesy of Heigo Niilop)
Juri Frischer will direct this game. Statistics coming up soon.
Info about the game
The game is played on Saturday, August 30th at Jõhvi Linnastaadion. Entrance fee is 1 eur.