Dalkurd v Vasteras
This is a match between two of the smaller clubs in Sweden’s top two divisions, with both sides also struggling at the start of the 2022 campaign. The two teams have scored a combined 14 goals and won a combined three matches ahead of this ninth round of fixtures in the Superettan.
Dalkurd have the record for the lowest average attendance in both the Allsvenskan and Superettan with their rise to prominence coming relatively recently. However, Vasteras have averaged just about 1000 more in that time so neither side tend to have the backing of a vociferous off-field support.
Dalkurd, under the management of Paul Olausson, come into this on the back of a goalless draw away to Brage during the midweek. That continued their low-scoring start to the season whereby they have scored just five goals in eight games. They have collected four of their seven points this season in their last two matches with a win and a draw, scoring three of their five goals in a 3-1 win against Skovde last weekend – two of those coming in the final 20 minutes.
Their opponents, Vasteras, finished 12th last season and will be concerned about the prospect of battling relegation once again in this campaign. The visitors have won just one of their opening eight games so far this season and they come into this on the back of conceding an excruciating 96th minute equaliser at home to J-Sodra in a 2-2 draw the other day.
The underlying data is also reflective of their limited styles of play. At home, Dalkurd average less than an expected goal per game, whilst Vasteras also average less than an expected goal per game on the road.
Given those fairly poor records, and the fact that both sides have struggled for any form or rhythm throughout the campaign, this one is expected to be a low-scoring encounter.
Landskrona v Brage
This Superettan encounter is between two sides that have had very different beginnings to their respective campaigns. Landskrona are a famous and historic club in Swedish football but their battle this year appears to be against second division relegation. Brage, on the other hand, are pushing towards the top-of-the-table.
Billy Magnusson’s Striped Ones come into this on the back of a very solid and stubborn run of form, despite their current placing in the bottom-half of the Superettan table. Back-to-back entertaining draws against Utsiktens and Brommapojkarna have extended their unbeaten run of form to five matches. In those five matches, they have scored 13 and conceded nine – despite their being a goalless draw in that run of form.
Brage have been a lot more assured and consistent. The visitors’ frustrating goalless draw at home to Dalkurd in midweek extended their own unbeaten run of form to five matches. They have lost just once all season. After finishing firmly in mid-table last season, the two-time UEFA Cup qualifiers will be expecting to maintain their strong start to the campaign.
As mentioned, Landskrona have scored 13 goals in their last five games. That run of form followed failing to score in their opening three matches of the season. Only two teams have scored more than Brage’s 18 so far this season so both sides come into this capable of hurting their opposition.
However, the underlying data suggests that only one of the two teams are putting in sustainable performances and results. Landskrona’s expected goals overall is 0.63 and their expected goals at home falls to 0.57. It would appear that this recent five-match scoring unbeaten run is quite anomalous.
They have, though, conceded with ease throughout the campaign and Brage, who’s goal scoring exploits are matched by the statistics, would be confident of adding a couple more to their 18-goal tally.
Trelleborg v Osters
Vangavellen is the 7,000 capacity stadium of Trelleborg that has gained a reputation for being the typically ‘difficult place to go’ in the top two divisions of Swedish football. Osters, on the back of back-to-back defeats, have the misfortune of having to deal with that this weekend.
Trelleborg come into this on the back of back-to-back victories after their 2-1 victory away to OIS in midweek. They have lost just one of their last six matches since a frustrating defeat away to Dalkurd in their second match of the 2022 campaign. Kristian Haynes’ side finished seventh last season and, with a strong squad, will be expected to push on towards the top three this season.
Osters had won four of their opening six matches but, as mentioned, two defeats in two games means they have drifted down towards the middle-of-the-table – but they remain a strong side. Srdjan Tufegdzic took over from Christian Jardler in the winter. Jardler led Osters to fifth in the Superettan last season and ‘Tufa’ is expected to build on that finish.
The build up to this game may well surround Danish striker Nicolas Mortensen. The 28 year-old left Osters in the off-season, after scoring nine goals in 27 games in 2021; but with five of those coming in his final ten matches. He has, once again, started slowly this season at Trelleborg, with just two goals in seven starts, but perhaps a game against his former club will ignite his campaign.
Eight of the 16 teams in the Superettan have scored and conceded more than a goal per game so far this season. Trelleborg and Osters are two of those sides. These are two relatively evenly matched sides and both will view the game as a major opportunity to push towards Brage and Halmstad at the top. Given that, it could be quite entertaining viewing.
Halmstad v Brommapojkarna
This looks set to be one of the most fascinating and entertaining matches of the season so far – let alone just this weekend. Both sides have intentions of pushing towards the top three and promotion this season.
Following relegation last season, Halmstad will be looking to bounce back to the Allsvenskan at the first attempt. Magnus Haglund’s HBK have begun their 2022 campaign with six victories, a draw and a defeat in their opening eight matches. That draw and defeat came in their first two matches of the season and they have been perfect since then as they have risen to the top-of-the-table.
Brommapojkarna qualified for Europe within the last decade but have spent much of their history in the second-tier. The visitors come into this on the back of three wins in their last four matches, though, as they move towards the top end of the table. Their 4-1 hammering of Ostersund during the midweek means they have scored in all eight games and they have scored two or more in seven of their eight games so far this season.
Halmstad are, arguably, the biggest club in Sweden’s second-tier this season and they will be expected to sustain their challenge for promotion. They also won by four goals to one in midweek, against Osters. Both sides have a clean bill of health ahead of what should be a thrilling encounter.
Halmstad have managed 17 goals in their eight games so far this season with nine in their last three matches. No team has scored more than Brommapojkarna so far with 20 goals in their eight games, including 11 in their last three. This one should be a thriller.
Norrby v Utsiktens
Separated by two points, sitting either side of the mid-way point in the second-tier; this one should be a close contest between two evenly matched sides.
Mak Lind’s Norrby come into this on the back of an impressive 2-1 win at high-scoring, in-form AFC Eskilstuna during the midweek. The home team have lost just one of their last four matches as they seek to recover from a fairly average start to the campaign. They have been quite dull to watch, though, with just six goals in eight games – a third of those goals coming in their recent victory.
Utsiktens, on the contrary, have scored 17 and let in 13 so far this season. That means there is an average of 3.75 goals per game in matches involving them. The visitors come into this on the back of a 2-2 draw at home to Landskrona, in which they led 2-1 until the final ten minutes of the game.
Lind’s Norrby have played quite an aggressive style of play this season and there are two players, Nicklas Savolainen and Johan Brannefalk, that are on the verge of suspension. That aggressive style is reflected in their defensive solidity and quite dour performances going forward. Utsiktens sit at the bottom of the Superettan fair play table, too, so this could be a fairly heated clash.
This is a clash of styles between one side that can be predictably dull and one that is quite fun and unpredictable. Given that Norrby have the home advantage, their style may come out on top and a low-scoring encounter is expected.
Orebro v AFC Eskilstuna
With back-to-back victories being followed up by a goalless draw away to Skovde in midweek, Orebro are beginning to recover from a poor start to the campaign. AFC Eskilstuna have, however, begun to lose their grip after a very impressive start.
Orebro, under the management of Vitor Gazimba, were relegated alongside Ostersund from the Allsvenskan last season. Gazimba replaced Alex Kjall and then Kjall, who had been the Director of Football at the club before taking up the role on the bench at the Behrn Arena, returned to be manager again. They have had several jaunts into European competition and the supporters’ pre-season expectations are for them to mount a serious and sustained challenge for the title.
AFC Eskilstuna come into this on the back of three defeats in their last four matches. They had started the campaign with four successive victories and now the fans of the artist formerly known as AFC United are beginning to get restless and panicky, already.
Orebro’s style of football has been fairly bleak and defensive with nine goals scored and nine goals conceded. The hosts sit firmly in the middle-of-the-table after a poor but improving opening eight matches. AFC Eskilstuna have had a different approach – no team in the division has scored more goals than them this season.
The visitors will be without left-sided centre-back Abdelkarim Mammar Chaouche ahead of this round of fixtures after the 25 year-old picked up a red card in midweek. He has provided two goals and an assist down the left-hand side and may actually prove to be a huge miss going forward for the visitors.
Given that they could be affected in their fluency going forward, as well as the fact that Orebro are a naturally defensive side, a low-scoring encounter is expected for this one.
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