Focus on Sillamäe Kalev (4/10, 70 pts)
Sillamäe second part of season has been either winning (12 times) or losing (3 times). Exception made for the home loss against Levadia (0-1 week 29), they have been nicking the three points at each and every game since matchday 29. They are on a positive streak since 4 matchdays and are relentlessly pursuing Kalju for the third spot. The main target is obviously to access for the second season in a row (never happened in the club's history) one European spot from the main door (the Premium Liiga). Meanwhile, they secured a place in the Estonian Cup quarter finals in Spring as also this competition will gift one place. The way Sillamäe achieved it (after winning at penalties against FC Infonet) might affect their form as the game was played on Tuesday. Frantsev in fact, did not spare any one in the 120-minute battle that was solved by the goalkeeper, Mihhail Lavrentjev. 'My form is very good at the moment' told the young goalkeeper to Põhjarannik.ee 'however I wouldn't say I am the main one.' Lavrentjev is obviously being diplomatic towards his teammate, Mikhail Starodubtsev, the son of the chairman. The former U-23, in fact, has been given a start for 11 games in a row already and there is no doubt that Frantsev will choose him again.
Sillamäe has rested on Wednesday and been doing light training on Thursday which will be repeated the day after. The aim is not to tire the team and have them sufficiently ready for the challenge against Tammeka. With Silich back, Ratnikov shall slip back into midfield partnering with Tjapkin.
Injuries and suspensions
Unless the fatigue of the cup fixture will bring a last-minute injury, they are all ready for selection except Volodin, suspended. Who will take his place? Very unlikely it will be Maehara as the Japanese has disappeared from Frantsev's range (last game 85' minutes against FC Infonet on matchday 16). Frantsev might pick up Aleksejev from the double team as he has already collected 11 appearances this season (1 goal and 1 assist).
Risk of suspension ahead of the key-game against Kalju for a long list of players: Kvasov, Murikhin, Mashichev, Baguzis, Dubokin and Sidorenkov.
Key-man: Evgeni Kabaev
The Russian striker might be galvanized after hitting the headlines for topping the Golden Boot table ahead of no less than Cristiano Ronaldo (it earned him a mention on Marca, Spanish football webmedia and paper). However, he perfectly knows that it won't last long. Meanwhile, why not trying to increase the tally? He is far from Cekulajevs (46) but he could get very close to 40, it's worth trying. He is the 4th most prolific foreign striker in the history of the Premium Liiga (source Transfermarkt.de).
Focus on Paide (6/10, 32pts)
The easy win against Kalev helped Paidelona in furthering the gap from Narva and make sure they will not drop from the 6th place. The end of season has no particular meaning for Paide as they are looking forward to bring it to an end. The game against Sillamäe away will not be an easy one as the Eastern Estonians are eager for points in the chase for the podium. However, Paide have had their best form away from home. 20 of the 32 points were collected elsewhere than in Paide City Stadium, with an even amount of goals scored, 19.
Rooba shall propose the same line-up seen against Kalev with Rõivassepp up front having Goldberg, Tomson and Paur behind.
Injuries and suspensions
Andrei Veis is sidelined by a knock. The rest of the team is ready for selection as none of the players is sidelined by suspension. Reinsoo, Kovtunovits and Ustaal are one card away from suspension.
Key-man: Karl Palatu
He's got the task to control Kabaev. This will probably be the key of the game, closing the spaces where the Premium Liiga topscorer will try to run in. It's not an easy task, however if the veteran defender will focus, he could make a difference for Paidelona and deliver a shocking result in Sillamäe.
Palatu can score on corners, certainly his presence in the box might bring danger.
The specular 4-2-3-1 will make the flank play the cutting edge of this game having Sillamäe the upper hand in this type of game. Paide will obviously sit back to exploit spaces for counterattacks. If the fatigue will catch Sillamäe players' legs, we might see an interesting switch of roles with Paide putting good pressure on the hosts. Additional flair thanks to Ratnikov on one side and Tomson on the other. Tjapkin will create troubles to Paide's midfielders looking for exploiting breaks.
Sillamäe’s wins: 6
Paide’s wins: 0
Goals scored by Sillamäe: 18
Goals scored by Paide: 4
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Sillamäe's rows: Vjatseslav Zahovaiko (CF) 175 goals – with the captain sidelined with injury, next top scorer is Dmitri Mashitsev (LM), 46 goals
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Paide's rows: Rasmus Tomson (MF) 41 goals
(statistics courtesy of Heigo Niilop)
The game is entrusted no less than to Roomer Tarajev. 116 games showing 494 yellow cards (4.25 per game). 18 red cards for a second yellow and 17 straight.
Info about the game
The game will be played on Saturday the 25th October at Sillamäe Staadion. Kick-off is at 13:00.
Tickets cost 2 euros, discounted tickets are 1 euro, and Under 16's and pensioners can watch the game free of charge.
The match will not be streamed.