Infonet travel to Paide this weekend to take on the side they have replaced as the Premium Liiga’s safe mid-table club. After a blistering mid-season run that saw them threaten to break into the top three, Infonet have dropped 10 points behind Sillamae and now comfortably occupy 5th place in the league. Paide have bobbed between mid-table mediocrity and the relegation battle throughout the season, and now find themselves just five points above the drop zone with Narva just a point behind them in 7th place.
Focus on Paide (6/10, 27pts)
Paide’s home form has seen them take just 9 points from 14 games this season, and with no wins in eight games on home soil (and no wins on any soil in eight games) they are under pressure to deliver here.
Stanislav Goldberg returned to the side in the 3-1 defeat to Nomme Kalju last time out and should keep his place here. He is likely to be joined in attack by Sander Roivassepp, Kaspar Paur and Martin Ustaal to form their 4-2-3-1 formation.
Injuries and Suspensions
Joel Indermitte is out for the rest of the season with a broken leg, and Sander Sinilaid is unavailable due to a yellow card-related suspension. His place in midfield could be taken by Kaspar Kaldoja alongside Eerik Reinsoo.
Kaldoja, Reinsoo, Palatu and Kovtunovits are all a booking away from a suspension of their own.
Key Man: Eeirk Reinsoo
The Paide midfielder needs to stop Infonet’s supply to Manucho if they want to stand any chance of getting something. He also needs to be positive when Paide attack to try and get them moving. He will be without Sinilaid alongside him, so his responsibilities are bigger than normal.
Focus on Infonet (5/10, 51pts)
No wins in four games and just one in their last eight explains Infonet fall into mediocrity. They are without a win in four on the road too and may find a worried Paide a bigger challenge than they expect.
Manucho should continue up front with Oleg Valov and Maksim Lipin on the left and right flanks respectively. Aidara, Albert Taar and Artjom Dmitrijev will fight it out for the central attacking midfield spot, with one of the latter two likely to drop in to the void left by Konstantin Nahk who could miss out through injury again.
Injuries and Suspensions
Maksim Zelentsov is suspended after his red card against Sillamae, and his place should be taken by Ilja Kassjantsuk. Konstantin Nahk may miss out again through injury.
Nahk, Gurtsioglujants, Melts, Aidara, Manucho, Semakhin and Valov are all a booking away from suspension.
Key Man: Manucho
His goals tally this season speaks enough to explain why he is their key man. His athleticism and strength make him a pain for opposing teams, and Paide need to cut off the supply to him.
Manucho is Infonet’s key outlet, but being without Nahk loses them some creative passing from midfield. If Paide can keep Infonet’s star man quiet they might be able to nick a goal to take the points. Aidara might be used to inject some athleticism into the Paide attack to make the most of Sinilaid’s absence, and it’s in the centre of the park where the biggest battle will be.
Infonet do like to use their full backs going forward, however, and this could be an extra option.
Paide’s wins: 3
Infonet’s wins: 1
Goals scored by Paide: 7
Goals scored by Infonet: 4
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Paide's rows: Rasmus Tomson (MF) 39 goals
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Infonet's rows: Konstantin Nahk (DM) 153 goals
THE REFEREES SQUAD
(statistics courtesy of Heigo Niilop)
The match director will be Andrei Karhu.
It will be his 13th game in Paide. He has shown 45 yellow cards in the previous 12 (3,75) and one red card for a double booking. His straight red cards tally is still empty.
Info about the game
The game will be played on Saturday 27th September at Paide Linnastaadion. Kick-off is at 13:00.
Tickets cost just 2EUR.
There is no streaming available for this match.