Orebro vs Ostersunds by Sweem
The third round of Allsvenskan is upon us, and it will be between two sides that have gotten solid starts of their respective seasons. Orebro have always been regarded as somewhat of a dark-horse team - and tricky to play against, not least at home. In 2016, they have provden their goal scoring ability, 22 goals in 11 matches, but also conceded 15 goals in the same period. This is from both competition and pre-season, but the pattern has been clear - they are vulnerable at the back, and dangerous when they attack.
If Orebro can find a more efficient balance, it can be a successful year for them in the long run. Their attacking ability is led by speedy striker Kennedy Igboananike and Nahir Besara. Their wing play possess trickery from Michael Omoh and Ferhad Ayaz, so there is a lot of pace in the team. Perhaps are they a bit too offensively balanced for their own good, but surely - Orebro often offers exciting matches as one of the teams who are involved in goal galores.
2-2 away against newcomers AFC Eskilstuna was disappointing, but prior to that they had beaten Jonkoping Sodra at home with 2-1, and thus remain undefeated. There are question marks around winger Ferhad Ayaz (1/1), midfielder Johan Martensson (2/0) who are both having thigh-problems. Central defender Michael Almeback (1/0) is also a doubt, after missing the previous game.
Ostersunds were newcomers last season and finished on an impressive 8th place in their first ever appearance in the highest division. In a survey made prior to the season, Malmo were the heavy favorites for the title, and Ostersund were voted to be the runner up. The Swedish media, coaches and fans seem to have high belief in Ostersunds to continue their run for the title even this season.
They have already captured their first ever title, as they defeated Norrkoping in the Swedish Cup final to secure qualification for Europa League. Both sides are typical artificial turf teams, with a short passing style of football, although Ostersunds are the masters of this type of football, often winning possession and having the highest pass accuracy and key passes in the league. Interestingly, Ostersund spends the most time out of any team on the oppositions third of the pitch, while Orebro spends second most time in their own third - basically the teams are mirrors of each other in terms of where on the field they operate the most.
The visitors have midfielder Fouad Bachirou (1/0) questionable for this encounter. He also missed the cup final, but Ostersund proved they were more than able to cope without their strong ball winner.
Ostersund will surely want to win possession - something they usually do, regardless of opponent. They have several players in form at the moment, namely winger Ken Sema who is incredibly strong on his flank and had three assists in the Cup final. The visitors will look to dictate this game but are playing a dangerous offensive team as well.
Only three days after securing the Cup title in front of a sold out stadium, Ostersund have to switch focus to Allsvenskan again and put the previous celebration behind them. I personally sense a small upset as Orebro are facing Ostersunds on a short notice for the visitors, plus the fact that it involves travelling after having celebrated the Swedish Cup title. These occasions have proven to be difficult when it comes to re-adjusting focus and therefore I sense an Orebro upset - but they have proven to lack defensive stability with five straight matches where they have allowed at least a goal. As such, both teams to score will be the pick.