Sundsvall v Sirius
Whereas both teams have struggled in their own right this season, the home side are far removed at the bottom of the table while Sirius have everything in their own hands in the quest to secure their Swedish Allsvenskan status for next year.
Sundsvall’s campaign has been an absolute disaster, not being able to mount even a slightly realistic challenge of staying in the Swedish top division. With 22 losses and only 4 wins on the record, and 73 goals conceded, it’s been one of the worst Allsvenskan performances in recent history.
There are no excuses for the board’s indecision in refraining from recruiting both ahead of the season and in the summer, resulting in only one win in their last 16 matches. With a squad lacking in any sort of quality, there is no way to compete at this level. In the starting XI, there are only a select few players – the likes of Engblom, Lundström and Ylätupa – who are of the required standard.
Sirius have also had their struggles, however considering the quality of manager and players at their disposal, it’s somewhat of a surprise they are still not completely safe from relegation. Four points separate them from Varberg in the relegation playoff spot, and with two matches to go, much would need to go wrong for them to drop down.
Losing Patrik Karlsson Lagemyr halfway through the season – a very important player in the early stages – was a big blow, and they haven’t been able to replace his creativity in attacking areas. Despite still playing exciting football under Daniel Bäckström, the attacking impetus has fallen by the wayside somewhat.
Even though the away team has had a less impressive season than we’re used to, they have much more in their locker than Sundsvall, and a lot more to play for to boost. An away win would secure their Allsvenskan status for next season, and I expect just that to materialise.
Varbergs v Malmö
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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