Helsingborg v Degerfors
Helsingborg have been below-par all season long, and five consecutive losses have all but guaranteed their relegation straight back down to Superettan. Degerfors have had their own issues, but an unbeaten run late in the season has distanced the team from the two automatic relegation spots. They currently sit in the relegation playoff position but could easily move above the struggling Varberg with a couple of positive results in the final three matches.
The home side’s lack of recruitment going into the campaign has cost them dearly, left with a playing squad nowhere near good enough to compete at this level. Some dire results, and only four victories recorded in 27 matches, place them second-bottom, nine points behind Degerfors. While this weekend’s opponents have strung together an impressive run of form recently, not losing in eight consecutive games, Helsingborg themselves have lost seven of their last eight. As such, there isn’t much more than pride to play for if you’re Helsingborg – even with a victory here, six points and a worse goal difference is extremely hard to overcome.
Degerfors lost star striker, and last season’s second-highest scorer in Allsvenskan, Edvardsen to Djurgården in the off-season and didn’t replace him until the summer. The first half of the campaign was pretty miserable without a focal point in attack, but since Omar Faraj’s arrival from Levante in late July their fortunes have turned around. Whereas he’s only provided three goals in 13 matches, his overall quality in open play has been evident, and his movement and runs in behind stretches defences, opening up more space for his teammates to operate in. He is a big reason for the side’s general improvement, however the manager’s ability to shore up his defence should also be lauded. Going from being one of the leakiest teams in the whole division to only conceding six in the last eight matches takes some doing.
With Degerfors in a rich vein of form and plenty to play for, and Helsingborg struggling massively and likely lacking a bit of motivation, the visitors should be able to claim at least a draw.
Elfsborg v Hammarby
We’re in for an exciting matchup between two attacking teams looking to finish the season in style. Elfsborg don’t have much to play for at this stage except for some redemption after a torrid campaign, whereas Hammarby will look to solidify their European qualification status ahead of next season.
After a simply horrendous run of form, Elfsborg have continued to impress game after game in the last month and a half. Five wins in seven matches, and just one defeat, is an honourable record, giving manager Jimmy Thelin some much needed breathing room after some pressure earlier on this year. In midweek, they managed a large 3-0 victory over Varberg, although underlying numbers suggest a closer match than the scoreline (Elfsborg winning on xG by 1.03 to 0.42). Nonetheless, their attacking play has improved significantly while being much better defensively too. A lack of goals from the striker position has been compensated for with the midfield chipping in regularly, especially the impressive and goal-hungry Michael Badoo who has 8G/2A in 19 matches.
Hammarby’s title charge took a stumble in the last match, only managing a 1-1 draw at home against a lacklustre Sirius side, and it now looks highly unlikely they’ll be able to catch BK Häcken who sit seven points ahead with three matches remaining. The main aim, therefore, should be securing a top-three position in order to get the chance to qualify for the European Conference League next season – a vital source of income for Swedish clubs. Luckily for Hammarby, Kalmar surprisingly lost to Mjällby and are thus three points behind, giving the Stockholm side some margin for error going into the final stretch. Bajen’s run of games has been tough, facing Djurgården, Häcken and Malmö in the last six matches, however they’ll be disappointed to have only picked up two wins during that unbeaten run.
After a red-hot start to his life in the capital, big-money signing Veton Berisha has now gone cold, failing to provide a goal contribution in the last seven matches, all starts. What looked like a real coup has now become a small source of frustration and worry, and his team needs him to start firing again to help secure their top-three spot.
Both teams will be looking for the win here and are attacking by nature, therefore the over 2.5 looks appealing at 1.65.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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