FC Flora and Narva Trans meet tomorrow night in the season's curtain raiser, the Superkarika, at the Sportland Arena in Tallinn (kick off 18.45 EET). Flora are involved as Meistriliiga champions and Estonian Cup winners and Trans as Estonian Cup runners up. Flora are also reigning Superkarika holder having defeated Levadia on penalties last year.
Flora defeated Paide 4-2 in a friendly on Friday afternoon, with goals from captain Karl Palatu, Aleksei Belov, Eron Krillo and Nikolai Mašitšev. This followed a 3-2 win over IFK Mariehamn of the Finnish Veikkausliiga the previous week. Flora's line ups have been varied throughout their pre-season matches as they look to blend a wealth of new players with the existing backbone of last season's title winning side. They have a number of attacking options with the signings of Albert Prosa, Kaarel Torop (both from Tammeka), Martti Pukk (from Kuressaare) and the return to Tallinn of Aleksei Belov from SC Verl in Germany. Mait Toom and Stanislav Pedõk look to be contending for the goalkeeper's shirt.
The Trans squad is looking a little thin going into the season as they will miss the goals of last season's top scorer, Aleksandrs Cekulajevs, who has moved on to FC Valletta in Malta. They do include two new African signings in their squad for tomorrow night's game - Irie Bi Sehi Elysee of Ivory Coast and Emanuel Mbia Ekobena of Cameroon - both midfielders. Trans's veteran defender Stanislav Kitto, still playing in his 40th year, is looking to start the season with a trophy: "This is a very important game for us. We have won the Superkarika before and want to win it again." Trans have won the trophy twice, in 2007 and 2008, since its introduction in 1996. Flora have won it a record six times.