Ostersunds vs Hammarby by Sweem
One of the most beautiful breezes in Swedish football is not to watch the big teams clash together, but sometimes you stumble across teams like new comers who are being rejected before the season even start and let them prove everybody wrong. Ostersund is really the biggest surprise in Swedish football. Hammarby is a club that adds excitement to the league as well, but it is mainly their atmosphere which gets to be in the spotlight.
These two teams actually kicked off the season in Allsvenskan, where everyone spoke about Hammarby's fantastic home crowd in a debut which would scare the new comers Ostersund who are in Allsvenskan for their first ever appearance. The match picture quickly turned into something else, as Ostersund performed the most respectless Swedish football had ever seen with 66% possession and sent a signal to the rest of the country that they are not in the league to participate - but to stay.
The extraordinary new comers Ostersund dominated Malmo FF on the road last time out, with an impressive 0-3 victory. A surprise for the public, but we shall not forget that Ostersund lead the possession average among all teams in the league at 54.3% and also have the best pass accuracy in the country. Such analytics means that realistically they should do good in terms of creating chances where they are fairly weak in terms of converting the dominance into waves of chances. They also lead dribbles per game by a wide margin, which is something they have benefited from but also suffered when it comes to turnovers.
Another interesting fact is that Ostersund concede the fewest shots on target, so their mistakes have been on their own which is why they are not higher in the standings. What can be said is that Ostersund is a revolutionary side in Swedish football and perhaps the club with most potential to become a new top team if they can keep their core pieces without being picked apart by big spenders. This is a team who have been playing together for a long time and been practicing the same style since the lower divisions and have a dedicated group of players and staff. The hosts will field the same team who played against Malmo in that impressive 0-3 victory. Why change a well functioning line up?
Hammarby surprisingly are the fifth best away teams in the league but have suffered from a terrible run in the beginning of the season. They are in a good shape with only 3 losses in their last 15 competitive fixtures, even if they lost at home against Elfsborg last time. Striker Romulo have really found his form with four goals in his last three appearances, while Pa Dibba - his striker companion, have also found the net in the last match.
However the flaws are clear in Hammarby which indicates that the defense is the real lack of quality (conceded 6th most goals in the league) and four conceded last time at home. This is at risk to be exploit by better teams. For the visitors, striker Alex (26/5) will miss out due to suspension.
This will be a match with contrasts - Hammarby will struggle and chase the ball, as they rank 13th in terms of possession and one of the worst pass success ratios in the league, and are now playing the most comfortable team with the ball. Counter attacks will be the medicine for the visitors but will they have the motivation is what I question here, as they have secured the contract.
For the hosts, there is not much to play for other than being able to break a record as the best debutants, but also the fact that they are now breaking record on their stadium in terms of audience and the fans have invested a large amount of money on making this the best match of the season. With the confidence that is currently surrounding the club, I have to sprinkle a few units in the lower levels on a home victory.