Bottom side Johvi travel south to third-bottom Tammeka this evening, with neither side in inspiring form. Tammeka’s 4-0 reverse at Paide last time out put more daylight between the latter and the relegation zone, leaving what looks to be a three-horse race for the final safety spot.
Narva have been dragged down into the battle for the drop, sitting two points above Tammeka in 7th place, and Kalev remain a point behind the side from Tartu in 9th.
FOCUS ON TAMMEKA (8/10, 13 pts)
All three of Tammeka’s wins have come on the road, with only two of their 13 points taken in Tartu. They are slowly beginning to catch up with their home games, after an enforced exile earlier in the season, but home advantage doesn’t seem to be doing them any good.
They have only won one in nine league matches, and have lost six of their eight home matches this season.
As several other teams do, Tammeka play with a 4-2-3-1 formation. Martin Hurt was shifted from centre back to centre forward last week, with Kristjan Tiirik deployed just behind him. Kaarel Kiidron’s dismissal, however, could see Hurt drop back into defence and Tiirik back up the sharp end.
Geir-Kristjan Suurpere is a regular starter on the right of midfield, with Priit Peedo replacing Valeri Sabanov on the left last time out. Martin Miller will start in the centre of midfield alongside Markus Jogi or Tauno Tekko.
New signings Hindrek Ojamaa, Mihail Gutak, Rauno Tutk and Mario Tikerberi are yet to make their debuts, but could start here in what is, on paper, their easiest game of the season.
Kiidron is suspended following his red card against Paide, with Tenno and Andre Paju both one booking away from suspension.
Georgi Ivanov and Martin Jogi remain Tammeka's only two long term injuries.
KEY-MAN: Kristjan Tiirik
Again selected for his goalscoring record, Tiirik has experience of putting the ball in the back of the net, and this is his best opportunity to get his side firing again.
FOCUS ON LOKOMOTIV (10/10, 4 pts)
The less said about Johvi’s form the better. One point from eight away games, and four from 20 overall explains their place at the foot of the table.
They have scored the least amount of goals of anyone (12), with just two of them coming away from home, but have a marginally better defensive record than Tammeka (56 goals conceded to Tammeka’s 57), a fact which is unlikely to change the outlook here.
The 0-0 draw with Paide, followed by a goal against Levadia to break the former’s clean sheet record, are perhaps the biggest signs of encouragement that Johvi are able to muster at the moment.
Johvi’s 4-2-3-1 setup is less than settled, with their starting line-up often a case of who’s available. Lasha Naveriani and Maksim Bazjukin are regular starters, with the former played up front and in defensive midfield in recent weeks. Deniss Kulikov has also enhanced his flexibility, having been deployed on the left wing and at centre back.
New loan signing Oleksandr Volchkov may start, but the rest of the line-up is anyone’s guess.
Rihards Ivanovs remains Johvi's only long term injury concern.
KEY-MAN: Maksim Bazjukin
As one of the few settled members of the Johvi team, Bazjukin's place as the central attacking midfielder will be of great importance to them. They are unlikely to get too many opportunities, but if they do Bazjukin should be involved in them, and he needs to cause a problem for the Tammeka defensive unit.
TAMMEKA VS. LOKOMOTIV HEAD-TO-HEAD
(last 6 Premium Liiga Matches via WhoScored.com)
Tammeka’s wins: 0
Loko’s wins: 0
Goals scored by Tammeka: 3
Goals scored by Loko: 3
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Tammeka's rows: Kristian Tiirik (LMF) 54 goals
Most prolific Premium Liiga scorer(s) in Loko's rows: Maksim Bazjukin (RMF) 38 goal
ODDS (the figures may be subject to variation)
More odds about this game by
BETTING TIP (by Angelo Palmeri)
Tammeka have collected only 2 points at home this season. A striking contrast with the last when the total tally was 15 points. We're gone past half of the current competition, and they are not even half of that. In the previous clash with Loko at home, they had a comeback that gifted them a point. With no wins at Tamme stadium, the white-blues are hungry for three points. This is the right time to clinch them. Optibet reward the 1 at FT 1.99. It is worth trying.
Tip: 1 at FT
Odd: 1.99 (figure may be subject to variation)
THE REFEREES SQUAD
(statistics courtesy of Heigo Niilop)
The game will be directed by Kristo Külljastinen, 23 games in Premium Liiga. He has shown 83 yellow cards (3,6 per game) and just 1 red for a double booking.
INFO ABOUT THE GAME
The match is played on Friday the 25th of July 2014 at Tamme Stadium in Tartu. Kick-off at 19:00.
Tickets are 4€. Students and pensioners can attend the game for 2€.
If you click attend of their Facebook event (here) you can enter the stadium for 1€. Children under 14 and Tammeka youth players can watch the game free of charge.