Narva’s season went from bad to worse last weekend, as they suffered a 7-0 drubbing at the hands of title-chasing Levadia. Results around them more or less went their way, with Paide earning just one point from their match with bottom side Johvi, but with points at a premium they can’t afford to lose any further ground.
Infonet will be looking to take advantage of Narva’s ongoing trip into the abyss, and last weekend’s 5-0 win over Kalev will be their inspiration as European qualification continues to sit uncomfortably out of reach for the fourth-placed side.
Goals are unlikely to be flowing, however, as matches played in Narva have seen the lowest total goals than at any other stadium. Infonet’s away matches have also seen the lowest amount of goals than other team’s matches on their travels. Not a good omen for the purists.
Focus on Narva (7/10, 15 pts)
The defeat to Levadia last weekend was Narva’s third in a row, and seventh in nine games. Goals are not a common sight in the border city, with Narva’s impressive home defensive record almost comparable to two of the teams above them (Goals conceded at home – Narva: 13, Sillamae: 12, Infonet: 11). By the same token, the number of goals they’ve managed to score is even lower, more comparable to the two teams below them (10, the same as Paide and Kalev).
Narva’s 4-2-3-1 system will be without Vladislav Fjodorov, as his booking playing at left-back last weekend earned him a second suspension of the season.
Gone is also the goalkeeper, Sergei Lepmets: 'there are no conditions to work here' said the shot stopper to Soccernet.ee. The club's president admitted he gave the permission to the player to leave the club.
New signing Ilia Osipov started last weekend’s thrashing on the right of the attacking midfield trio, and he should continue with Artjom Skinjov, Viktor Plotnikov and Vadim Mihhailov completing the attack. Narva’s attacking options are slim to say the least, with only German-Guri Lvov the only other realistic option at the sharp end of the field.
Andrejs Sinicins shall continue in the centre of midfield, who will partner with him will be an issue since Miśins has left the club. Lvov shall be deployed at left-back in place of the suspended Fjodorov.
Tanel Tamberg and Bi Sehi Elysee Irie look likely to miss out again through injury.
Vitaly Kutuzov has returned from Lokomotiv Jõhvi.
Key man: Viktor Plotnikov
Plotnikov bagged two goals in two game before the Levadia game, and Narva need him to show that sort of form here.
Focus on Infonet (4/10, 35 pts)
Infonet stretched their unbeaten run to five games with victory over Kalev last weekend. They are also unbeaten in their last five away games, winning their last two matches.
Last week’s RdS key man Manucho bagged four goals against Kalev, and he is certain to lead their 4-2-3-1 system from the front. Aidara appears settled tucked in just behind him, Maksim Lipin preferred on the right, with Jevgeni Harin, Oleg Valov and Jevgeni Gurtsioglujants fighting it out for a starting berth on the left.
Regular central midfielders Konstantin Nahk and Tanel Melts will start, with Deniss Malov likely to start in front of Alexander Semakhin after his goalscoring exploits last week.
Nahk, Avilov and Harin are one booking away from suspension, while Aleks Mones remains sidelined through injury.
Key man: Manucho
As predicted last weekend, Manucho was the key man for Infonet and he justified this with four strikes. He’ll be hungry for more here and will want to fill his trip East with goals.
Two identical formations once again puts focus on individual battles. Both teams like to get the ball wide, which could stretch the defensive midfield duos and pave the way for the central attackers to do some damage.
Narva have a tendency to rotate their attacking foursome, so they may tinker throughout the match to find something that works for them. Meanwhile, Aidara will be his athletic self, driving at the Narva defence and laying chances on a plate for Manucho, with the passing range of Nahk likely to cause some problems.
JK NARVA TRANS VS. FC INFONET HEAD-TO-HEAD
(last 6 Premium Liiga Matches via WhoScored.com)
Narva's wins: 0
Infonet’s wins: 4
Goals scored by Narva: 5
Goals scored by Infonet: 12
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Narva's rows: Stanislav Kitto (CB) 55 goals
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Infonet's rows: Konstantin Nahk (DM) 152 goals
ODDS (the figures may be subject to variation)
More odds about this game available at
BETTING TIP (by Angelo Palmeri)
Last week result in Tallinn (7-0 loss to Levadia) has plunged Narva Trans in on of their worst moment of their recent history. Paide are digging the distance (+4) and Tammeka is challenging from behind (-2). The overtake might happen this weekend as Tammeka receive home Paide, however the impression is that there won't be points coming from this game against FC Infonet. The 2 at FT at 1,20 offered by Optibet looks like a good filler for your weekend slip. Unless, since Lepmets and other players are gone, you want to try the Over 3,5 option given at 2.38. It might making sense considering Narva Trans look like a sinking ship everyone wants to jump off from.
Tip: Over 3,5
Odd: 2.38 (odd might be subject to variation)
THE REFEREES SQUAD
(statistics courtesy of Heigo Niilop)
After his concerning direction of FC Infonet vs. Kalju two weeks ago, Kristo Tohver returns back into the main action. It will be his 237th game in Premium Liiga. He has shown 785 yellow cards (3,32 per game) and 39 straight red cards. 28 players were sent off for double booking.
His work will be assisted by Sten Klaasen and Neeme Neemlaid on the touchlines and Roomer Tarajev will overlook from the touchline.
INFO ABOUT THE GAME
Kick-off at 19:00 EEST (18:00 CEST) on Friday the 18th of July at Kreenholm Stadium in Narva.
Entrance, 2€. 50% discount for entitled categories.