Superettans only two undefeated teams will square off against each other when the newcomers AFC United take on the favorites to the first place, Ostersunds FK. AFC United is a fairly new club, but with good leadership with the coach Ozcan Melkemichel who is a good leader with much knowledge about Superettan in particular due to his many years in the rival club Syrianska.
The team itself is made up by many foreign players and overall should be seen on as a project. Despite the newcomer title, the side has show that they belong in this league with good performances. In a way, AFC United is nearly a similar team to Ostersunds FK due to the philosophy of recruiting foreign players and develop as a team from there. The hosts are now coming from a very intense ‘derby’ versus another top candidate Assyriska on the road, in a game which can be described with the word chaos. It turned out to be a 1-3 victory which looks strong on paper, however AFC United received 3 red cards which came with bad timing ahead of this encounter. Attacking midfielder Othman El Kabir scored two goals in the victory but also got sent off. Main keeper Joshua Wicks got sent off after receiving a second yellow card for time wasting, and defender Rabi Elia also got sent off. It was a huge statement to get away with three vital points versus a strong opposition, but the suspensions were all harmful for the newcomers. A fair number of rotation will likely apply when coach Ozcan Melkemichel will try to surprise the league favorites. The team is mentally strong at this point after remaining undefeated which could be a boosting factor to keep in mind despite of the opposition on the other side of the pitch
As initially explained, the 31-year old experienced first keeper Joshua Wicks (5/0), attacking midfielder Othman EL Kabir (5/3) and central defender Rabi Elia (5/1) are all suspended for the host. In other words, three starters will be out due to the last chaos match which will see AFC United suffer in the defense in particular with Rabi Elia out who is their main defender and most valuable player in the back part. Reserve keeper Filip Vojtekhovich will most likely get the start instead of suspended Joshua Wicks.
Ostersunds FK continues to impress with their offense which is sparkling at every single occasion. The club was founded as late as 19 years ago and have only played 3 seasons in Superettan, but still remain a top candidate – perhaps even the hottest one. The club believes in a philosophy which circles around foreign influences which starts with the coaching staff and the British manager Graham Potter.
His knowledge is a factor to why Ostersunds can call themselves contenders, his signings have been successful and nowadays possess a team that could play in Allsvenskan already with the current material. Right now, the only project is to get there by promotion this season. One of the new signings, midfielder Michael Omoh who arrived from the division 1 club Dalkurd, has been an instant success so far. The 23 year old scored a hat trick versus Syrianska in the 4-1 victory and arrives full of confidence for another victory. On the midfield Fouad Bachirou and Brwa Nouri makes up for the strongest central midfield in the league. Ostersund is one of the few (if not the only) team who plays with a 3-4-3 formation which shows how much they trust their own offense to produce. The team receives much credit for playing an attractive style of football with much possession and movement on the final third. All pieces for success is there and if the club wants to promote, now is certainly the time. The offensive trio is remarkable with the South korean Moon Seon-Min on the flank, with Michael Omoh in the middle and either Dragan Kapcevic joining the attack or Englishman Jamie Hopcutt who got to play 20 minutes in the previous match. The visitors can enjoy the fact that there are no important missings that will make Graham Potter worried for the clash.
The opposition for Ostersund have been of mixed standards, it began with two easy matches versus Brommapojkarna and Angelholm. Later, they were tested against promotion candidates Sirius on the road which ended 2-2 and is really the only big test encountered thus far. AFC United will provide a newcomers test, which means a hard working team who wants to strike from the underdog position. It is known that newcomers always act motivated when playing big games and this is one of them. Still, three vital suspensions for a newcomer team is a heavy loss and something that I do not see Ostersunds letting go unnoticed. The hosts AFC United can take pride in staying undefeated the first 5 rounds which is an impressive achievement in itself, but this will probably be too tough and Ostersunds gets my vote to remain the only undefeated team after this game to an acceptable price which continues to drop.
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