Malmö FF v IFK Värnamo
Incredibly, only ten points separate last season’s Allsvenskan and Superettan winners, with Malmö experiencing a surprisingly difficult campaign while Värnamo have exceeded all expectations. Whereas title favourites Malmö are attempting to simply break into the top three, far removed from the title chase, this weekend’s visitors have already secured their Allsvenskan status for next season and keep impressing week after week.
Three consecutive league games without defeat is certainly an improvement for the home side under the management of Åge Hareide, picking up seven points in the process. Their Europa League group stage has been miserable, by contrast, losing all three games, the last of which a 1-0 defeat at home to a 10-man Union Berlin team on Thursday. Losing the shot count by 19-7 and the xG 1.44 to 0.73, they deservedly suffered defeat and sit rock bottom of their group with little chance of qualifying. All efforts then have to be directed towards qualifying for Europe next season through a top-three finish domestically. While their attacking play has been somewhat improved in recent weeks, there is still a lot to desired defensively with only one clean sheets in the last seven matches in all competitions.
Värnamo have been a real joy to watch, especially in the second half of the season after they came to grips with the higher level of opposition in Allsvenskan. They have stuck to their principles though, playing out from the back and advancing through the thirds with slick combination play. Whereas they were burned on several occasions early in the campaign, mistakes have now been eradicated and the benefits are clear to see, with Värnamo controlling matches better leading to four consecutive wins. The opposition hasn’t been the toughest, nonetheless 12 points from 12 have propelled them into 10th, ten points above Degerfors in the relegation playoff spot. Marcus Antonsson is in scintillating form, scoring six goals during their winning run, and he’s now the second-highest scorer in the division.
Malmö have plenty to play for and look strong going forward, while Värnamo haven’t failed to score in their last seven matches. Therefore, I expect we’ll see goals in both directions here.
GIF Sundsvall v IFK Göteborg
Sundsvall’s season is all but over, being separated from the rest of the pack at the wrong end of the table, while IFK are struggling to remain in the top half of the table after an unexpected dip in form.
The hosts have been below par all season long and added another defeat last week to bring the total tally to 19 in the league. The 3-1 loss at the hands of Norrköping wasn’t unexpected, nonetheless it must be deflating for their fans to see such a lack of ambition from the board, with little investment between seasons leaving the manager with a group of players unable to cut it at this level. 61 goals conceded and 21 scored is a miserable tally, with only three wins to show for their efforts. While a lack of quality in midfield and forward areas has been apparent, by far the biggest issue is a leaky defence, with the team not set up to limit opponents reaching the final third. 12 consecutive games have now been played since their last win in the league, and it doesn’t look like that will change any time soon, despite close to a fully fit squad (bar the important Linus Hallenius who is out for the season).
IFK Göteborg have been incredibly patchy, stringing together a few fins then following it up with consecutive losses on several occasions this season. They are currently in one of their worse periods, having lost three in a row to Helsingborg, Djurgården and Elfsborg with a combined goal difference of 2-9. For a team with a mix of plenty of international experience and young, exciting talent, the season has to be considered a disappointment as a whole – especially after such a promising start, securing 10 points in the first four matches. The talent coming through the club is certainly a big positive and they’ve performed admirably. Instead, it’s the old guard which has let the team down, not reaching the levels expected to challenge the better teams in the league.
Last week’s 3-1 defeat to Elfsborg was a close affair, with their chances of getting a result diminished by a strange second yellow card for Marcus Berg in the second half. Even then, IFK’s play left quite a lot to be desired, looking somewhat stale in attack and inviting pressure from Elfsborg for large parts of the match. This weekend’s challenge is a much slighter one, with Sundsvall not possessing much quality at either end of the pitch, and IFK will be confident of breaking their poor run and securing a result to remain in the top half of Allsvenskan, even with Berg suspended.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
18+ please gamble responsibly.
Back the Four & Five Star Selections as a Double on Betfair ⬇️
*Bet link only appears when accessing from mobile.
Haven’t got a Betfair account? You’re in luck…
Sign up to Betfair and get a full refund if your first bet loses. Grab an account through the offer below and place £20 on the 2/1 Swedish Allsvenskan Best Bets Double. Here are the two possible outcomes: