Estonia have announced their provisional squad which will face Scotland on February 6 in Gordon Strachan’s first match as the new Scotland manager. They have called up 25 players and will announce a final 20-man squad which will travel to Pittodrie later.
Motherwell forward Henrik Ojamaa has been called up to the provisional squad and will be looking to earn his ninth cap for his country. The rest of Estonia’s squad will not be particularly well-known to Scotland fans, although some may recognise Tarmo Kink – formerly of Middlesbrough. Along with Joel Lindpere who spent three years with MLS club New York Red Bulls.
Despite being a relatively unknown side to Scottish fans, Estonia should not be underestimated as they finished second in a highly competitive Euro 2012 qualifying group that included Serbia, Slovenia and Northern Ireland. Although they went on to lose 5-1 on aggregate against the Republic of Ireland in the qualification play-offs. The Estonian squad is a strong one with the majority of players playing at a high level across Europe.
Some of Estonia’s key players include; midfielder Konstantin Vassiljev, who plays in the Russian Premier League with Amkar Perm and has scored 15 goals in 58 appearances for his country, left-back Dmitri Kruglov, who has represented his country 80 times and plays with FC Rostov in Russia, FC Augsburg centre-back Ragnar Klavan, who has 83 caps, and Wilsa Krakow goalkeeper Sergei
Pareiko who has 42 caps. Although he may not start, experienced forward Andres Oper – who was part of the Estonia squad which faced Scotland in both 1998 and 2000 – has also been called up. He is Estonia’s record scorer with 38 goals and has amassed 130 caps during nearly 20 years of service to his country.
With an experienced and high-quality defence, creative midfield and dangerous forward line, Estonia are capable of troubling any team they play as they showed during the Euro 2012 qualifiers. Gordon Strachan will not be in for an easy test in his first match as Scotland manager and, like all of Scotland’s upcoming matches, a win is vital to try to work our way up the FIFA World Rankings so we can get the best draw possible for our Euro 2016 qualifying group.
Below is the provisional Estonia squad, although five of these players will be cut from the final team. Scotland have yet to announce a squad, but with Mark McGhee now in place as assistant manager the decision should be made soon as Strachan gets ready for his Scotland managerial debut.
Pavel Londak – FK Bodø/Glimt
Marko Meerits – Vitesse
Sergei Pareiko – Wisła Kraków
Alo Bärengrub – Nõmme JK Kalju
Enar Jääger – Aalesunds FK
Ragnar Klavan – FC Augsburg
Dmitri Kruglov – FK Rostov
Igor Morozov – Polonia Warszawa
Taavi Rähn – Tianjin Songjiang
Tihhon Šišov – Nõmme JK Kalju
Taijo Teniste – Sogndal Fotball
Aleksandr Dmitrijev – FK Gomel
Gert Kams – Tallinna FC Flora
Joel Lindpere – Chicago Fire
Siim Luts – Tallinna FC Flora
Sergei Mošnikov – Pogoń Szczecin
Sander Puri – Kuopion Palloseura
Ats Purje – Kuopion Palloseura
Konstantin Vassiljev – FK Amkar Perm
Martin Vunk – Panachaiki FC
Jarmo Ahjupera – Györi ETO FC
Tarmo Kink – AS Varese 1910
Henrik Ojamaa – Motherwell F.C.
Andres Oper – Nea Salamis Famagusta FC
Vladimir Voskoboinikov – FC Dinamo Tbilisi