Hammarby vs Kalmar by Sweem
Allsvenskan look to be more interesting than ever, thanks to many profilic players and coaches arriving to the league this year, along with many new potential contenders. This clash will not be between two contenders, but there are more than enough reasons of why this game will get attention.
Hammarby is a club from Stockholm, a city that is currently in the spotlight of non-football related happenings. The game has however been confirmed to be played and also - completely sold out. Hammarby can therefore expect a huge boost when they take on a struggling Kalmar FF side who are visiting after a 1-5 loss themselves.
Let's begin with the hosts - The Danish coach Jakob Michelsen did a fantastic job with SonderjyskE and eventually ended up taking over Hammarby - a mid table side in Sweden, with ambitions of establishing themselves amongst the consistent contenders. Hammarby is a club with a large supporter base, and the pressure can become intense, which reminds of a big club, which they have the capacity to be. 36 year old Michelsen has approached the job with an honest attitude by being very direct with the players. Hammarby does seem like they are finally thinking more internationally, starting with a foreign coach - and also signing midfielder Jiloan Hamad from Hoffenheim (former Malmo FF captain) which was a big statement to do from a club like Hammarby, clearly showing their ambitions.
Despite ending up with a narrow 2-1 loss in their away opener against Norrkoping, there were a lot of positives to take away from the performance - not least, the number of chances created - showing a good offensive performance but unfortunately for the visitors that time - without the efficiency.
The hosts have a fully healthy squad to field in their home premiere.
Kalmar began their season with a 1-0 lead, only to collapse and concede five straight in a 1-5 loss at home against Elfsborg. The result was not only shocking, but it was a terrible defensive performance. Kalmar have a squad that should be able to compete for the European spots, but lack the consistency. Kalmar are clearly more of a natural grass team, and end up struggling when facing teams who plays on an artificial turf - this will give Hammarby an advantage, as their home turf is artificial at Tele2 Arena. The visitors have not changed a lot in their team compared to last season, which leaves them with an "average" stamp going into this encounter. They have a lot to prove after a poor first performance - despite some disturbing squad absentees.
Out of the relevant names being absent from the visitors - key midfielder Ismael (1/0) will miss the game due to a knee injury. Striker Mans Soderqvist (0/0) is another name missing from the squad
As always there is a huge interest in Hammarby whenever they play at home - the stadium is sold out, and it will be Jakob Michelsen's first experience to coach his team in front of a crowd of more than 30,000. Adding the factor that Hammarby are coming from a positive performance, along with the fact that Stockholm has been the setting of tragic non-football related happenings - there is an emotional energy surrounding the arena, and likely also an extra spice for Hammarby to do well in this particular game at home. There are a lot of expectations internally on Hammarby - they are hosting a vulnerable opponent in a time when it matters a lot for the city, and for themselves. Kalmar got torn apart defensively last time, and the way that Michelsen wants Hammarby to play will not give Kalmar any extra rest either. The hosts are coming into this enounter with the wind in their sail and the odds are more than enticing to back a home victory.