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Matchday 25 Previews and Betting Tips

Chris JohnsComment

Last update at 14:15 EEST on the 19th of August


Narva Trans - 8/10, 17pts

vs. 

Jõhvi FC Lokomotiv - 10/10, 8 pts

(Tuesday 19th August, 19:00)



Narva (4-2-3-1): Narva broke their 5-match losing streak with two draws recently, but a 7-1 thrashing at the hands of Sillamae pushed them further into the relegation mire. The defeat saw them slip into 8th place on goal difference, with no wins in 8 matches, and just 2 in 21 giving a clear picture of why they are in trouble.

Conceding goals hadn’t been Narva’s main problem prior to the Sillamae game, having conceded 43 all season, the best record in the bottom half. Their biggest problem is still scoring, with just 18 put away this term, the same as their opponents, who sit bottom of the league, and just one more than Kalev in 9th, but it seems their all round game is now in freefall.

They have no new injury worries or suspensions, but Andrey Ornat will return from suspension, likely replacing Dmitri Shevyakov in their attacking foursome, who are severely under the spotlight for their lack of contribution.

A match at home to the bottom side is technically their best chance to put in a good performance, but with Johvi securing their first win of the season at the weekend Narva have no real right to feel confident at the moment.


Jõhvi (4-2-3-1): After going 23 games without a win, Johvi finally secured their first three points at home to Kalev at the weekend courtesy of a second-half Aleksandr Nikulin penalty. They have now taken 5 points in their last 6 games, a record which is far from outstanding in footballing terms but it has signalled something of an improvement.

They now sit four points behind Kalev in 9th, and a win over their opponents here would see them close the gap to Narva to just 6 points, something which would have been unthinkable not too many weeks ago.

The biggest problem they have to overcome is that they have only scored three goals on their travels. They have to use any momentum they feel from the win over Kalev and show a little more resilient spirit. If they concede first, it’s difficult to see them coming back.

Lokomotiv have four players suspended: Zahharenkov, Nikulin and Potapov. Maksim Bazjukin will form Johvi’s main attacking threat in a team that has seen very little consistency in their line-up and will be affected by four regulars missing.

Odds

1      1.52
X    4.04
2     5.64

Betting Tip: Two low scorers to continue the trend.


Tip: Under 2.5
Odds: 2.00

 

More odds available at Optibet (Sports > Football > Estonia > Meistriliiga)


JK Sillamäe Kalev - 4/10, 46pts


vs.

FC Infonet - 5/10, 46 pts

(Tuesday 19th August, 19:00)



Sillamäe (4-2-3-1): Sillamäe swapped places with Infonet once more at the weekend with a thumping 7-1 win over Narva. It had looked like Infonet were going to push the league leaders after a fine run of form, but Sillamäe have shown that they must still be considered.

Four wins in a row and a settled formation has seen them move to within 6 points of the European qualification spots, and just 8 points off the top, but they will have to do without Deniss Tjapkin following the midfielder’s unnecessary dismissal when already 7-1 up against Narva. Evgeny Kabaev is in scintillating form, however, and is likely to challenge Manucho in the battle to win the match for his team.

Sillamäe have scored the joint most goals at home (36) and will feel confident of causing Infonet problems, something which they may need to do if they struggle to keep Manucho under wraps.


Infonet (4-2-3-1): Infonet are unbeaten in 8 games, but their 4-match winning streak was broken by a 2-2 draw at Flora, a game in which they had a commanding 2-0 lead, and a disappointing 0-0 draw at home to Paide at the weekend. Excellent performances against the top teams have helped them reduce the gap to the top of the table, but a seeming lack of experience to help them over the line in difficult situations might just be their undoing this year.

They are unbeaten in 8 matches on their travels, and have won 7 out of 12 away from home this season. They have no new injury or suspension worries, and will likely field a similar team to the one that started the 0-0 with Paide. Any changes are likely to be in attack, with new signing Albert Taar in contention.

The match is an opportunity for both sides to fully prove their worth as European qualification challengers with both sides having sat just behind the front three for some time. No team appears capable of taking the title race by the scruff of the neck, and Infonet need to keep up their momentum to take advantage of any further slip-ups.

 

Odds

1      1.48
X    4.28
2     5.86


Betting Tip: Huge price for Infonet to get something here.

Tip: X2
Odds: 2.47

 

More odds available at Optibet (Sports > Football > Estonia > Meistriliiga)


Paide Linnameeskond (6/10, 27pts)


vs.

Nõmme Kalju FC (3/10, 52pts)

(Tuesday 19th August, 19:00)



Paide (4-2-3-1): Paide are the Premium Liiga’s most comfortably placed team, sittinh in 6th place, 10 points above Tammeka and 19 behind Sillamae. Their 0-0 draw against Infonet at the weekend may have surprised a few people, but they do have the ability to spring a surprise among the average results they’ve achieved this season.

 

Their home form has been a disappointment, however. No wins in 5, including 4 defeats, and just 8 points all season, the same as Kalev, is a poor return. Their away form has thankfully saved them from being dragged into the relegation battle.

 

They will have to do without Joel Indermitte for this match due to a twist of his knee, but he is their only new injury concern for what has been a settled side of late. Roivasepp, Goldberg, Paur and Tomson will form the attacking foursome in front of Reinsoo and Sinilaid.

 

Nomme Kalju (4-4-1-1): It looked as though Kalju’s title charge would be undone by their performances against the bigger clubs this year, but a 1-0 win over leaders Flora has blown the race for the championship wide open. They now sit 5 points behind Levadia, who defeated Kalev 7-0 yesterday, with today’s game in hand, and 2 points behind Flora. Injuries to key players also threatened to derail Kalju’s title bid, but it seems as though they have just as good a chance as any of the other teams with no-one able to take a hold on top spot.

 

Kalju have the league’s joint best defensive record, but scoring goals has been their main problems; Their 50 goals scored is the least in the top 5.

 

Damiano Quintieri’s season is over following surgery on his injured knee, and Martin Vunk misses out due to suspension. Robert Kirss and Eino Puri started on the wings against Flora and may continue here. Vunk’s place will be taken by either Jarmo Ahjupera or Fabio Prates, unless Karl Mool is moved forward from right-back.

 

Odds

1      9.25
X     5.14
2     1.28


Betting Tip: A narrow win for Kalju.

Tip: Odd number of goals
Odds: 1.78

 

More odds available at Optibet (Sports > Football > Estonia > Meistriliiga)


Tartu Tammeka (7/10, 17pts)

vs.

FC Flora (2/10, 54pts)

(Tuesday 19th August, 21:00)



Tammeka (4-1-4-1): Following an important 2-0 win over relegation rivals Kalev, Tammeka managed to limit Levadia to just one goal in their defeat at the weekend. The match also saw them move to a 4-1-4-1 formation, with Martin Hurt leading the line, and they may do the same against a similar strength opposition here.

 

Tammeka’s home form following an early season exodus has been their undoing. The 2-0 win over Kalev was their first win in Tartu all season, which followed a somewhat disappointing 3-3 draw with Johvi, but they appear to be improving and now sit just above the relegation zone on goal difference.

 

Georgi Ivanov and Martin Jogi remain Tammeka’s only injury concerns, both of which remain longer term absentees.

 

Flora (4-2-3-1): Having appeared to be strolling relatively unchallenged towards the Premium Liiga title, a draw against Infonet and a 1-0 defeat by Kalju has seen Flora lose top spot to Levadia. A seeming inability to fully implement their possession-based approach looked not to be impacting them too much, but they now appear to have been reeled in.

 

The decision to start with Sander Post ahead of Albert Prosa for the Kalju game was reversed at half time and Prosa is expected to start once more against Tammeka. Flora will see the match as the perfect opportunity to get back to winning ways, and it will be a real test of their mental strength.

 

Nikita Baranov may return from injury in place of Markus Jurgenson, but Andre Frolov is still unavailable for selection as Flora’s only injury concern.

 

Odds

1      12.30
X     6.39
2      1.19

Betting Tip: Flora to get back to goalscoring ways.


Tip: Over 2.5 goals
Odds: 1.50

 

More odds available at Optibet (Sports > Football > Estonia > Meistriliiga)