Halmstad v Brage
These are two sides that began the 2022 Superettan season believing they should be pushing for the top two and automatic promotion to the Allsvenskan.
Following a surprise relegation from the playoffs last season, Halmstad stuck by Magnus Haglund and, for the vast majority of the campaign, that has been viewed as a good decision. However, their run in the last ten matches or so has left a lot to be desired and what should have been a very simple promotion to the top-flight has been complicated but they have got over the line.
The home team come into this on the back of a 2-0 defeat away to AFC Eskilstuna last weekend, extending their winless run of form to five matches. They have won just one of their last seven and just two of their last ten.
Despite that, other sides have been worse at chasing them and they have, somehow, been automatically promoted before the final day of the season.
They now face a Brage side that come into this on the back of a 2-0 defeat at home to Vasteras, last weekend. The visitors have now suffered back-to-back defeats and they are winless in their last six matches with just one victory in their last eight.
Somehow they remain tucked inside the top five and sit 11 points behind Halmstad in the table, leaving many supporters of the club to ask the pertinent question of ‘what could have been?’
These are two teams with genuinely successful or respectable seasons behind them that are badly, badly limping to the end of the campaign.
Ostersund v Norrby
This is, quite frankly, the biggest game in the Swedish second-tier heading into the final weekend’s round of fixtures. With automatic promotion and the playoff tied up, this is an enormous match down at the bottom end of the table.
Ostersund begin the weekend sitting second-bottom in the automatic relegation place after a disappointing campaign, following their relegation from the Allsvenskan last season. They sit three points behind Norrby, who occupy the promotion/relegation playoff place with the two teams level on goal difference, meaning that an Ostersund win keeps them up, for now, and relegated Norrby whilst a draw or Norrby victory sends the home team down.
Off-field financial issues have caused the hosts’ biggest issues in recent seasons but the home team have enjoyed an impressive second-half to the season as they seek to battle against back-to-back relegations.
They come into this on the back of a thrilling 3-3 draw away to Utsiktens, meaning it is now just one defeat in their last nine matches in all competitions.
Norrby, on the other hand, have been awful until their much-needed 2-0 win at home to Osters, last weekend, to keep them three points clear. The visitors had been winless in their previous five matches.
This is going to be a very tight, tense and nervy encounter with neither side likely to be confident enough to throw caution to the wind. Ostersund have the second-worst home record in the league and have managed just 17 home goals, whilst Norrby sit at the bottom of the away table, having scored just 16 times.
Regardless of who ends up getting automatically relegated, this is a match that is expected to be low on quality and, as a result of the circumstances, low on goals.
Vasteras v AFC Eskilstuna
With just one game of the 2022 Superettan season to go, these are two sides that are firmly ensconced in the middle-of-the-table with very little to play for. That doesn’t mean it will not and should not be an entertaining encounter for the neutral, though.
Both sides have flirted with pushes towards the top end of the table and potential runs into the top three, mostly AFC Eskilstuna, but neither side have had the consistency to put together a good run of form.
Vasteras come into this on the back of a comfortable and impressive 2-0 win away at out-of-form Brage last weekend, making it back-to-back victories and four wins in five matches for the home team.
AFC Eskilstuna began the campaign with four successive victories but have been indifferent ever since then really. The visitors’ most recent outing was a comfortable 2-0 win at home to automatically promoted Halmstad last week, highlighting their undoubted quality.
These are two evenly matched sides separated by just three points and one place in the Superettan table with AFC sitting eighth and Vasteras in ninth place.
Another thing they have in common is entertainment value. Vasteras’ 29 matches have consisted of 97 goals, whilst AFC Eskilstuna’s 29 have had 92 goals in them. The two teams are joint-third for goals scored, behind the top two teams in the division, but only four teams have conceded more than AFC and one of those is, indeed, Vasteras.
Given there is little to play for and the pressure is off, as well as how evenly matched these two sides are, this one should be quite an enjoyable, care-free encounter.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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