Focus on Paide Linnameeskond (6/10, 32pts.)
The 0-1 loss against Tammeka confirmed Paide's problems in the home game. With 12 points only collected at Paide City Stadium, it is not a mystery that Rooba's XI fancy to play away the most. The last home game, however, it's against Lokomotiv, a side that let in over 100 goals and are already focused on the next task: the 180-minute play-off game.
The team's main problem was the usual one: scoring goals. After a good first half (0-0) Paide's fury calmed down and Tammeka managed to bake their third away win courtesy of a defensive blunder that allowed the 19-year-old Suupere to net his third seasonal goal.
It is a matter of fact: Paide are missing a striker with the attitude to score goals. Rasmus Tomson (8 goals) is Paide's topscorer, however he is an attacking midfielder. The area of improvement for Paidelona next season is quite evident and will have to come from the transfer market.
In such a game, Paide has the mandatory task to win and close the season in a worth way. In that case, they would be 12 points short of last season marking a slight decline.
Injuries and suspensions
All the players are available for selection with a bunch risking a suspension for season 2015: Reinsoo, Kovtunovitś, Ustaal, Sinilaid and Kaldoja.
Key man: Rasmus Tomson
He has scored most of the goals and he is the one who can take advantage of Loko's sloppy defence. Definitely Paide's best signing in 2014.
Focus on Jõhvi (9/10, 18pts)
9-0 against Levadia was just the last of a series of 'saunas' enjoyed by the newly promoted at their first Premium Liiga season. If more of those are to come next season, we will only discover in November when the Eastern Estonia side will take Southern Estonia Viljandi Tulevik. Making a pun, the 'future' ('tulevik' means 'future' in Estonia) is in their hand.
Hopefully, it was the last sauna of 2014, since Loko will take on Paide, sixth best striking line of the season: a mere 1,08 goal per game (38/36). Holding the defence should be an easier task than againts the tableleaders. Additionally, Volchkov will return from suspension.
Śkaleta wants to keep the team fit ahead of the play-off challenge, however a bit of rotation would help avoiding unnecessary injuries and suspensions.
Injuries and suspensions
Smelkov and Smirnov are still sidelined by knocks, however they shall be fully recovered for the play-off games. Same goes for Maksim Bazjukin.
With 5 players risking a suspension (Rudomin, Kaivoja, Potapov, Nikulin and Alania) the coach Śkaleta might seriously think to rotate. However it's more about a wishful thinking since in last game he had only 3 reserve players available.
Key man: Alexander Nikulin
6 goals in 13 appearances, he is definitely among the most effective strikers in the relegation zone. Any chance to score a goal and improve the 24-goal tally, shall be on his feet.
The trio behind Tomson (Goldber-Ustaal-Paur) shall create few troubles to the Loko's back line if they will manage to exploit the room given and created by Tomson himself. At the same time, Sinilaid and Reinsoo might find themselves toothless if the defensive phase will not be applied properly during the breaks. Paide has shown several times to be prone to be cut in two by the oppositions leaving the defence clueless and at the mercy of the counterattacks. Loko might not have the same freshness as Tammeka, however Naveriani could invent something interesting on the left.
Paide Linnameeskond’s wins: 2
Lokomotiv’s wins: 0
Goals scored by Paide Linnameeskond: 5
Goals scored by Lokomotiv: 1
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Paide Linnameeskond's rows: Rasmus Tomson (MF) 41 goals
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Jõhvi's rows: Maksim Bazjukin (RMF) 38 goals
THE REFEREES SQUAD
(statistics courtesy of Heigo Niilop)
The match director will be Elar Tarkus. 17 games in Premium Liiga showing 45 yellow cards (2,64). He has shown one red card for double booking and one straight red during his top-flight career.
Info about the match
The game will be played at Paide linnastaadion on Saturday, November 8th. Kick-off is at 13:00. The entrance is for free and the game won’t be streamed.