Hammarby vs Kalmar by Sweem
This is a clash where both teams would want to review their respective seasons at this point, and look themselves in the mirror and say that they should have done a lot better up until now. The situation is more critical for Hammarby though, as they have experienced a turbolent time in media and not least the talks surrounding their coach Nanne Bergstrand and his future at the club after a streak of disappointing results. Behind the curtains, this match means a lot - which is why we will have a peek at this game
Kalmar are coming off a good result when they turned around a 1-0 deficit into victory against Djurgarden. That was the eight consecutive time that Kalmar managed to score in a match, and seem to have found good steam on the offensive part of their game, which is something that coach Peter Swardh will be satisfied with. The player material that Kalmar possess should be good enough to be in the top five, however their early struggles have costed them once again which is why they only find themselves at the 10th position, six points clear of relegation. It is still not a safe position to be in, as Allsvenskan can twist and turn anytime.
Kalmar have been on the upswing with only one loss in their last eight matches. If something is good for Kalmar in this game, they are facing Hammarby in a very stressful time, so Kalmar can play more relaxed but still competitive as they need points as well. The visitors might struggle on the quick artificial turf, but they are more experienced and solid as a unit than their opponents, and a tad better offensively.
Kalmar will have a few concerns to address in this encounter, as they will be without midfielder Rasmus Elm (8/1) and midfielder Tobias Eriksson (15/3). Moreover, striker Papa Diouf (7/3) is also unavailable, along with long term defenseman Victor Agardius (12/0). Main keeper Ole Soderberg has been given green lights to play despite his questionable status earlier this week.
There is a side story to this game, which is that Kalmar striker Mans Soderqvist will likely play against his old colleagues in Hammarby who he just left a few weeks ago, only to return to Kalmar where he once played.
Hammarby have just gotten a well needed boost of confidence after their last 0-2 victory against Gefle. The games before this results, the whole organization would prefer not to speak about, as it was many consecutive disappointing results - this becomes extra difficult to deal with when you have such a large fan base, and the club as a whole is built on expectations and bigger dreams. The reality is that Hammarby have not been playing bad - but their defense cannot get the same grade. The last match was the first time this season that Hammarby kept a clean sheet - on the 16th fixture.
The organization is being torn apart in media as well with the rumors surrounding the coach Nanne Bergstrand and his future, and his claimed conflict within the player group who do not agree on his philosophy or starting eleven choices. The three pointer last time did offer a certain calm after the storm, but they are still living under pressure. Hammarby's defense is the fourth worst in the league and that is their main concern. Their only victory in a long time was against the team ranked 15th in the table, so it's not justified to say that the worst part is over.
The hosts have a pretty pleasant situation when it comes to absent players, as they will be able to field their best team.
This home fixture against Kalmar will determine a lot - the club is two points clear of relegation, and have the most pressured man in Swedish football at the moment leading their team. What speaks in favor of Hammarby is their home turf, being artificial - something that Kalmar is not practicing on regularly. However, Hammarby have only one recent victory in their luggage against a fellow relegation candidate and somehow they have still earned the favorite stamp here - that is not justified anywhere in my opinion, hence literally all value is on Kalmar to get some kind of result, as they have played better and only lost once in the last eight fixtures - both logic and recent form speaks in favor of the selection.