Ostersunds vs Degerfors by Sweem
One of the favorites to claim the Superettan title and direct promition is Ostersunds FK who really got their contender status last season which was magnificent but came up just short of promoting. This year is different though, even though the club lost their biggest star on the field, they kept the main core and once again have shown their brilliant scouting ability to fill up with new interesting players who have already proven their value.
Degerfors started the season highly questionable when they lost in the first round against the newcomers Utsikten, and the question marks began there already. The latest run have been impressive though and has seem the team raise to an acceptable position in the standing, more or less where you would expect Degerfors to be. A big reason for their success is the striker Peter Samuelsson who have scored 8 goals in 11 matches so far. It is vital for Degerfors that someone else steps up after some heavy player losses compared to previous season. Ahead of this campaign,, Degerfors lost their best point scorer Ferhad Ayaz, the young explosive winger left the team and left a big hole after recording 14 points in total, goals and assist combined. The team is currently undefeated in the last three matches versus teams on the upper half such as Varberg and Sirius. The only big worry was the 3-0 loss against the expected top side Ljungskile. Still, despite some questionable results, Degerfors remain a difficult team to beat and rely much on hard working individuals now that they lost their most influential player from previous season. A negative for Degerfors is their ability to stand up for a full 90 minutes in particular against top teams who are more dominant. This was particularly visible in the match against Ljunskile where they struggled to keep up with a solid team on the road
For the visitors, team captain Tobias Solberg (11/2) will miss the encounter, his replacement is Simon Molander who has made 4 appearances as a substitute.
Ostersund continues to take big steps towards a promotion to Allsvenskan with their impressive performances. The last loss in competitive matches came back in October 2014 when Assyriska beat Ostersund in the last round of Superettan last year. This is a different season and while many teams have changed staff and players, Ostersund have shown loyalty towards their staff and kept going with the same coach and players except for the occasional transfer. Good teams tend to sell their players immediately and fall into pieces after a successful season, however Ostersund have shown they know how to handle their business and replaced with unknown yet great players. Striker Michael Omoh have scored 6 times in 11 matches so far, and for being new in the group, he has adjusted very well. The man behind the club's magic so far is Graham Potter, who has managed to put his international stamp on the club. In his home country England, he is already being compared to a more offensive version of Roy Hodgson who also coached a session in Sweden back in the days, and the similarities in terms of career is therefore quite spectacular. Despite being a relatively small club, the team has received a lot of credit for the way they play - very possession based football with patience. With only 3 defenders in the back line, it certainly speaks for how much confidence Ostersund have in their own offensive ability. Still, the cockyness have bitten them on a few occasions where opponents have made games look closer than what they actually are thanks to perhaps an over belief in themselves. Yet, the fact that Ostersund is the currently best team in Superettan remains clear without a real threat, and their only task right now is to justify their position in the standings.
Performance wise it has been comfortable on the pitch, and the only negative is that Ostersund are vulnerable on counter attacks and their defense is not as complete as you would hope for a top team. 5 of 9 goals have been conceded at home, while the team nearly averages 3 goals scored per home game
Injury wise, Graham Potter can be satisfied that there are no absences to worry about. However an addition on the substitution bench is Monday Samuel who is nearly ready to play.
It is difficult not to like Ostersund at the moment, these are vital points for mainly Ostersund in order to chase Jonkoping Sodra who are the current leaders. On the home stadium Jamtkraft arena, the turf is artificial which suits Ostersund better than natural considering their style of play, rarely playing passes through the air and rather keeps it within the team on the ground. Degerfors arrives with confidence but will face a very different opponent than they have done so far, where they will chase a lot of the time and have to be deadly efficient on their own opportunities. The betting sites seem to have realized that Ostersund really belongs to Allsvenskan already and normally 1.45 on the straight home win is too low, while three weeks ago this would have been at 1.80 or similar. Considering the number of scoring chances the hosts will generate, it is not unlikely to see two or maybe three goals. Degerfors can score themselves but in the long run the edge will always be with the hosts. To say it short - a home win is likely.