Kalju’s 2-0 defeat to Sillamae on matchday 35 put paid to their title ambitions for the 2014 season, but the result also put them in serious danger of finishing outside the European qualification spots. They were leapfrogged by Sillamae by that result to leave them a point outside the top three going into the final game of the season.
Tammeka have 7th place to play for having secured their place in next season’s Premium Liiga some weeks ago, and they need to match or better Narva’s result against likely champions Levadia in order to do so.
Focus on Tammeka (7/10, 28pts)
Two wins in their last eight matches shows how Tammeka’s season has tailed off since achieving safety. A solid win at Paide last weekend came a little too late to challenge them for 6th place, but their final place will be an excellent achievement regardless of whether they lose out to Narva.
Coach Indrek Koser has said his side will be competitive despite the impending end to the season, so he is unlikely to change much of the team from the 1-0 win at Paide if he can help it. Andre Paju should return from his suspension for four yellow cards, as should Rasmus Tauts following his dismissal against Johvi. Kevin Raabis is likely to make way for Tauts on the left wing, with Paju likely to slot back in to the centre of midfield in place of Martin Miller.
Kristjan Tiirik should start in the central attacking midfield position behind striker Martin Hurt, with Geir-Kristian Suurpere on the right wing. Tauno Tekko should partner Paju in the centre of midfield.
Injuries and Suspensions
No new injury concerns for Tammeka.
Tenno, Tutk, Hurt, Lorenz, Naggel, Kiidron and Tiirik are all a booking away from a suspension that would carry over to next season.
Key man: Kristjan Tiirik
Tiirik needs to bridge the gap between midfield and attack for Tammeka, and he will need to be on form to make an impact in the middle of the park where Kalju will try to dominate.
Focus on Kalju (4/10, 75pts)
Having lost two of their last four games, Kalju really need to grit their teeth and finish the season strongly to take advantage of any slip-up from Sillamae. Anything less than a victory would spell the end of any hopes of taking something from the season and would up the pressure on boss Igor Prins.
Prins may decide to rotate the squad following the poor performance last time out, with Felipe Nunes and Tarmo Neemelo vying to replace the likes of Robert Kirss and Martin Vunk. Tihhon Sisov could replace Hendrik Purg at right back, with Eino Puri also available should Kalju tinker with their central positions any further.
Injuries and Suspensions
Kalju will breathe a sigh of relief at the fact that they have no new injury or suspension worries, with long-term absentees Damiano Quintieri and Allan Kimbaloula the only players missing.
Reginald and Neemelo are a booking away from a suspension that will carry over to next season.
Key man: Hidetoshi Wakui
The Japanese playmaker couldn’t work his magic against Sillamae and Kalju will be hoping he can find his best form one final time. Prins is unlikely to change from his normal 4-4-1-1 formation in which Wakui is the key man so focus will be on him to get Kalju moving.
Both sides employ similar formations, and this will lead to a midfield battle for control of possession. Kalju like to pass the ball around, and if Tammeka can stop them from playing freely they might just have a chance. When Kalju’s A-game doesn’t work, they don’t seem to have an effective Plan B, so Tammeka will need to frustrate their opponents.
Forcing Kalju to play wide could also work for the hosts, with the visitors struggling for support in attack when playing down the wings.
Tammeka’s wins: 0
Kalju’s wins: 6
Goals scored by Tammeka: 0
Goals scored by Kalju: 20
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Tammeka’s rows: Kristjan Tiirik (LMF) 54 goals
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Kalju's rows: Tarmo Neemelo (FW) 160 goals
THE REFEREES SQUAD
(statistics courtesy of Heigo Niilop)
Martin Salong will officiate. His 91 games have seen 312 yellow cards and 18 reds, 13 of which have been for two yellow cards.
Info about the match
The game will be played at Tartu Tamme Stadium on Saturday 8th November at 13:00.
Tickets are 4EUR. Students and Pensioners can get in for 2 EUR. Facebook event attendees can watch the match for just 1EUR. Children Under 14 get in for free.
The game will not be streamed.