Matchday 28 opens up with a game in central Estonia between the title defenders Levadia and the mid-table team of Paide. The home team doesn’t have any special motivation as they are safely placed on the 6th place of the table, while Levadia are still in a fierce battle for the title with their rivals Flora and Kalju. Can Meelis Rooba’s players pull out a surprise and take crucial points from Levadia in the title race or will it be another stroll for Kristal’s team in Paide?
Focus on Paide Linnameeskond (6/10, 28 pts)
As mentioned before, Meelis Rooba’s team is on a safe position, but can’t be happy with the performances of his team this season as they managed to collect only 28 points in the past 27 rounds. Maybe they weren’t aiming for the top 3 positions, but 28 points is definitely what they were hoping for. However, they are in a run of 5 games against the top four teams in the league and so far they managed to steal points from Infonet and Kalju, while failing against Flora and Levadia away from home. The gaffer has certain problems with the team but he will still be able to pull out a decent team against the title holders. That being said, we can expect to see Palm on the goal, Palatu and Kaldoja in central defense, Kovtunovits and Lomp on the full-back positions, Kruusalu and Reinsoo in central midfield. Paur and Rõivassepp should take on the flanks and Tomson in attack behind Vassiljev.
Key-man: Siim-Sten Palm
The 22-year old shot stopper must overcome himself if he wants to keep a clean sheet and pull out a possible surprise. He will certainly have a lot of work and his performance might prove vital for the team.
Injuries and suspensions
Andre Mägi and Joel Indermitte, as well as Goldberg are not available for selection, while Sinilaid is suspended for this game. The rest of the squad is available.
Focus on FC Levadia (2/10, 60 pts)
The defeat to Sillamäe was quickly forgotten and the battle for the title continues for Marko Kristal’s squad. The international break was definitely used to get some rest and try some new tactics after Ivanov’s departure, but things are not going well for them when it comes to injuries. However, they have a good depth in the squad so the coaching staff will definitely find a way to fill the holes. In that sense, we can expect to see Smishko on the goal, Artjunin after returning from the national team duties should take his position in central defense with Tipuric, Pikk and Podholjuzin will probably be deployed on the full-back positions, Raudsepp with Dmitrijev in central midfield, Penic and Tamm/Kruglov on the flanks and Teever and Subbotin in the attacking line.
Key-man: Jan Penic
The young winger will finally get his chance and must prove he is ready for a standard place on the flank after the injury of Omar. Goals and assists are expected from him and Paide is a good place to start.
Injuries and suspensions
As mentioned before, coach Marko Kristal faces few problems with difficulties. Artur Rättel is the long term absentee, but after the departure of Ivanov, they suffered another blow with the injury of Omar Elhussieny. Ilja Antonov should also be given rest after the knock he received while on international duty.
Despite all the injury problems, we can expect to see Levadia to press from the very beginning and try to score an early goal to break Paide’s defense. If the hosts manage to hold them off for over an hour then a possible surprise won’t be excluded. Kristal decided to keep up with his 4-4-2 tactics and with no more calculations possible in the title race we can expect them to attack with all their artillery.
Paide Linnameeskond vs FC Levadia HEAD TO HEAD
(last 6 matches via WhoScored.com)
Levadia’s wins: 5
Paide’s wins: 1
Goals scored by Levadia: 11
Goals scored by Paide: 3
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Levadia's rows: Ingemar Teever (CF)121 goals
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Paide's rows: Rasmus Tomson (MF) 39 goals
ODDS (the figures may be subject to variation)
More odds about this game here by
(Sports > Football > Estonia > Meistriliiga)
THE REFEREES SQUAD
(statistics courtesy of Heigo Niilop)
The match director will be Andrei Karhu: 11 games in Premium Liiga, 43 yellow cards (3,9), one red card for a second booking and no straight red ever shown
Info about the game
The game is played in Paide on September 12. Kick-off at 18:00 EEST (17:00 CEST). The game will also be streamed here by ERR Sport.
If you plan a visit to Paide, the entrance should cost you a mere 2€ as usual for the 'Paidelona' home games.