Kalju vs Paide
Nomme Kalju will want to seek revenge on Paide after losing the cup final to them on penalties last week. Kalju have an okay home record coming into this game losing 2 games against the two biggest clubs in Estonia in Levadia and Flora – but can we call this a home game? Kalju are still playing at the Sportland Arena which is an artificial pitch, every team played here for the first round of fixtures due to the harsh winters that Estonia is known for . Problems at the Hiiu Staadion means Kalju won’t be playing home games on grass until at least July.
Paide in the league have had some mixed results especially when it comes to playing against the big 3, in 5 games they have only collected one point when playing them. This is something that has always been a problem for Paide, a team with so much potential but always disappoints in the big games.
Paide have reason to be confident for this one, after winning the cup – after 120 minutes the game remained 0-0 which was expected as both teams did not want to lose that one, European football for both sides is unlikely based on league form, this is probably why the cup game was played with caution – Paide now get Europe for the 22/23 season.
League games between the two teams are much more attacking the last 3 times they have played each other there has been a whopping 18 goals with O3.5 goals happening on each occasion.
Kalju haven’t won in two whilst Paide have won their last two in the league, the fixture list isn’t so kind to Kalju and the dropped points gives Paide the opportunity to leapfrog them into 3rd on Sunday if they can get the victory.
Both sides have improved defensively in the last few weeks but have scored 27 goals between them in their last 4 games and both defences should be breached in this one as it’s unlikely either side will sit back, Kalju are missing some players through suspension and injury, and Paide have a full squad to choose from. It will be a close game but Paide might just edge out on top.
Levadia vs Flora
The Tallinn Derby – the two biggest clubs in Estonia battle it out at the national stadium the A Le Coq Arena, the 1st derby of the season that will be played on grass.
Both teams are running away from the rest of the league this season with a 10 point gap between them and 3rd place Kalju already – with that gap only set to increase in the coming months.
Flora are unbeaten this season and sit top of the league on goal difference ahead of Levadia although Flora have a game in hand. Flora have been in some ruthless form disposing of teams early on and then playing it calm and giving some of the fringe players a run out later in the game.
Levadia meanwhile are struggling to find that killer edge in front of goal, they have won their last 6 games but 4 of those have finished 1-0, is it unfortunate luck, arrogance, or another problem, it’s difficult to tell. Levadia won against bottom side Legion in midweek 3-1 but spent a large part of the 2nd half on the back foot as Legion put up a valiant effort, fatigue for Legion and fresh legs for Levadia ultimately saw Levadia as comfortable winners.
Levadia haven’t beaten Flora in league competition in 10 games, with 8 Flora wins and 2 Levadia draws, with National Team games approaching after this fixture it will be a cagey but cautious affair, Levadia striker Robert Kirss came off holding his hamstring against Legion so he may be missing. Levadia are no doubt a high-quality side, but their inability to put away the lesser teams of late puts some question marks in their ability to breach a stubborn Flora defence. Flora are strong and have the better depth to choose from and will be confident to take all 3 points from the current champions.
Kuressaare vs Tammeka
Kuressaare vs Tammeka – the battle of inconsistency, the battle of mediocre.
Kuressaare have been the most surprising of the two teams this season, sitting comfortable in 5th place with no real challenge to displace them, this isn’t necessary because Kure are playing decent football but more so the teams below have been pretty bad, but credit where credit is due, Kure has taken advantage of that.
Tammeka are transitioning from hoof ball football from last season to passing it out from the back, something some players are finding a bit difficult this season – again it’s due to give some credit to Head Coach Miguel Santos for trying to get a lower end Estonian team playing a different style of football, albeit so far this season it hasn’t worked.
Tammeka have just 1 win in 7, against relegation threatened Parnu and are quietly being dragged into the battle themselves, the match against Kure gives them the chance to pull away with some favourable fixtures coming up. Kure meanwhile are a mixed bag, they’ve just picked up an impressive point against Kalju and will take that confidence against Tammeka.
Both teams will feel they can take three points – Kure have someone who can score goals in Sten Reinkort who has 7, and Tammeka have more consistency with goals from elsewhere with 13 different goalscorers compared to Kure’s 5.
These two do not do draws, in league form and against each other, both goalkeepers are prone to making mistakes and if a goal comes early then it will force the other side to open up, a 0-0 draw this won’t be.
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