Rumori di Spogliatoio

Matchday 3: roundup, comment and RdS Best XI

Deni DelevComment

Round of stabilization and goal difference improvement for the top teams

After the first two rounds in which the reigning champions were left with 0 wins in front of the home crowd and Kalju’s technical error against Infonet that cost them 3 points, things are slowly coming back to normal in Premium Liiga.

As it was expected, the lack of good clashes (exception was Sillamäe-Infonet) brought us surprising snow and loads of goals. Flora continued their unbeaten run (the only team in the league with 3 wins in the first 3 games) with a decent 3-0 win over the overhauled team of Tammeka, Kalju scored 6 goals against Paide to extend Niinepuu’s woes and Levadia finally showed glimpse of their last year’s game thrashing Tallinna Kalev with 0-8. Narva Trans showed no mercy against the newly-promoted Lokomotiv Jõhvi, sending them home with 5 pieces and the only match where we expected a tight contest was easily won by Sillamäe with 3-1.

How far can this Flora team go?

Surprisingly (or not) after 3 rounds Fc Flora’s team solely stands at the top of the table with maximum points easily beating the likes of Lokomotiv, Paide and Tammeka scoring almost 4 goals per game and conceding only one in 270 minutes of play. But does this really show how strong they are? They did show some nice touches and beat the champions Levadia in the Supercup, but the real test comes next week as they travel to neighbouring Nõmme to take on their archrivals Kalju. Should they come back with the 3 points from that match, it will be a serious sign for the other top teams that Flora’s aim this season won’t be top 3, but the highest spot itself.

Levadia’s awakening

It took Marko Kristal’s squad 3 games to finally show why they are the reigning champions and why everyone considered them favorites at the start of the season. Even though Tallinna Kalev is not really the team that strikes fear in their opponent’s bones, it is always good to see familiar names on the scoring sheet. Has the coaching team of Levadia finally found the winning formula? They have another “test match” next week against Tammeka to fully prepare themselves for the big derby against Kalju on March 29.

Kalju and Sillamäe marching on

Prates, first Estonian goals in Paide. The Brazilian's performance is growing game after game (Getrud Alatare)

Prates, first Estonian goals in Paide. The Brazilian's performance is growing game after game (Getrud Alatare)

After the first round shenanigans by Kalju’s office, things are normalized. All the lines in the squad function meticulously and they are the only team that hasn’t conceded any goals yet, scoring 8 against their opponents. It seems that they are all set for the upcoming derbies against Flora and Levadia in the next two rounds. Real tests that will give more clear picture of whether they can truly contest for the title.

Just like the previous season, Sillamäe Kalev will be the shadow contenders for the top spots that guarantees European games in the next season. They easily beat their rivals from Tallinn, Kalev and Infonet, while pulling out an impressive draw at the Sportland Arena against Levadia and they seem to have all the necessities to achieve their aims.

Is this Infonet squad good enough?

Two wins out of 3 games is not really a bad result. However, 3 of those points were won in the offices of EJL and the other three against the mediocre Tammeka team. However, in their first real contest (again, we won’t talk about their clash against Kalju), Infonet players failed to deliver, raising questions on how far can this team go. According to the current form they seem to be good enough for 5th place. But is that what the officials at Infonet hoped for? Is that their aim for this season? I certainly hope not. There is potential in this squad and I guess it is just a matter of time before they prove their worth on the pitch. And that time can come already in the next round when they are hosting the struggling Paide side.

Nothing new at the bottom

Siim Tenno made the difference in Narva against Loko for one of the three Ida-Virumaa derbies this season (Narva Trans Facebook/Julia Krõlova)

Siim Tenno made the difference in Narva against Loko for one of the three Ida-Virumaa derbies this season (Narva Trans Facebook/Julia Krõlova)

As predicted at the start of the season, there will be a serious competition to avoid the positions that lead to Esiliiga next season. For now, Tammeka and Lokomotiv keep hold of those positions with Kalev managing to grab a point away from Narva, who probably won’t have trouble securing a spot in the Premium Liiga for the next season after beating their neighbours from Jõhvi with 5-0.

First Estonian goals
Foreign players El Hussieny (Egypt), Buinickij (Lithuania) and Fabio Prates (Brazil) have hit their first Estonian goals, a brace each for 'The Pharaoh' and for the Kalju nr.20.
First goal also for a local boy, 19-year-old Robert Kirss scored Nõmme Kalju 6-0 over Paide.


Premium Liiga table


RdS Matchday 3 Best XI