Halmstadt vs Malmo by Sweem
It is a common combination that newcomers usually start the season on a high and over perform in the beginnig due to the excitement, and Halmstad have done exactly that. They began with a 1-0 victory at home against one of the most feared teams in Sweden, Ostersunds.
This was followed up with a draw against Jonkoping Sodra away, where Halmstad showed fantastic team spirit and managed to score twice despite being 2-0 down while being a man short due to an early send-off, and thereby claimed a point and remain unbeaten after two rounds. It will therefore be interesting to see how they cope against another unbeaten side, Malmo - the heavy favorites for the title.
Halmstad are one of the nowadays few teams who are playing their home matches on natural grass, and usually benefit from this when artificial turf teams are visiting. Malmo are however also a natural grass team, which shall bring out the best from both sides. The hosts have a couple of threats in Alexander Ruud Tveter, who is a solid forward with strenght, while Halmstad also have the most talented young player in the country, 17 year old midfielder Sead Haksabanovic, who have scored twice already this season.
Moreover, Halmstad are a very young team consisting of a defense that are willing to take risks. Their midfield has become much more physical, and their attack is reliant on Alexander Ruud Tveter and the creativity and shooting ability from Sead Haskabanovic. An interesting team who are still learning, but have opened with a big portion of optimism and currently with high confidence.
The hosts will be without striker Kosuke Kinoshita (2/0) due to his red card in the previous fixture.
After a pre-season without scoring many goals and victories not coming easy, Malmo bounced back after an average performance against Goteborg in the opening round. This time they outperformed a tricky Sundsvall side at home and convincingly won 2-0 while having 17-2 in the scoring attempt category to solidify their superior status. There were other good news to take away for Malmo, such as captain Markus Rosenberg ending his scoring drought, and several expected key players performed promising - not least Pawel Cibicki who were involved in many scoring chances.
Coach Magnus Pehrsson has been questioned before he even was appointed as head coach for Malmo, but so far can already see the glimpses of his ideas being implemented in the way the Malmo players are leaving no rest for their opponents due to their aggressive pressure. The team is consistent and also have more key players back into full shape - not to mention, the fact that Malmo could afford to put midfielder Magnus Wolff Eikrem on the bench, to instead play with Peru international midfielder Yoshimar Yotun, is a luxury problem to have.
The gap between these teams are not only visible on their respective bank rolls, but also in terms of season expectations and of course individually as well. Malmo will have a massive support, as the distance between the cities is not far. At the end of the day this fixture is between a newcomer and a potential team participating in Europe. Therefore, a Malmo win is the prediction and due to the very young Halmstad team at the back, Malmo's winning mentality and experience should be able to capitalize more than once.