Despite being newcomers, Hammarby have very high ambitions – at least in the long run. They fight in this league to earn respect and build their name and increase their reputation. So far, the season has been going great for the newcomers from Stockholm who only suffered their first loss away versus Malmo which was very expected. Atvidaberg have been struggling all season but finally claimed their first victory against Falkenberg, perhaps not the most attractive match-up but it should be a different experience at Tele2 Arena when Hammarby stands as hosts
There is a lot to say about Hammarby, but let’s begin with the visitors Atvidaberg. The club belongs to the lower half closer to the relegation battle than the safer area. Ahead of this season they let their coach go, and replaced with Helsinborg’s flop coach Roar Hansen who needed a job. Generally, a quite desperate solution and eventhough Roar Hansen did coach a well known team in Helsingborg, it does not mean instant success with a lower team. Atvidaberg have had a rough start and only managed to beat another relegation candidate in Falkenberg, and the trip to Stockholm will be one of the tougher test they will face all season. Somewhere around 20 000 spectator will show up on this match, which is something Atvidaberg never experience and chances of them being overwhelmed is probable in this fierce atmosphere. The visitors possess one good player who could harm the opponents in John Owoeri, the striker is agile and difficult to stop with fair tools, but other than on the striker position the team appears harmless and lack creativity all over the field. Roar Hansen is an organized coach and does not put much effort on the offense, the player material is fairly old and generally slow which will be a contradicting experience to face quick teams like Hammarby or other top sides especially. There is no identity that solidifies Atvidaberg, their football is based on getting John Owoeri in position to finish the attacks, but most opponents know this and therefore they are very predictable. The usual long balls will not fare well unless a greasy goal slips in, but even if they do – Hammarby will not surrender here.
The visitors will be without one of their most experienced players when defender and captain Daniel Hallingstrom (3/0) is suspended. A tough loss in a game like this where defense will be main priority
Hammarby is a well known team with much media attention, a huge fan-base and a good project going on. They are not shy to express expectations and frankly does not look at themselves as newcomers at all, but rather upper half contenders to fight for the European spots – it does sound cocky but that is also the charm with this team. After many frustrating years in Superettan, they promoted to Allsvenskan and began their focus to become a top side – So far so good! The team is coming from rough meetings with Elfsborg, followed by a derby against Djurgarden which they turned into a victory until the trip to Malmo was too difficult, but still showed a lot of promise apart from the score line. Once again it was the experienced midfielder Kennedy Bakircioglü who led the team towards a victor, but many players seem to reach their full potential just as this stage and everybody are playing with a high confidence. The popularity of this team keeps growing each round and the fans have all reasons to feel optimistic after this start of the season. At home they play very energetic with high pressure, basing their style on possession and a lot of offensive runs, it is actually admirable to witness. While domestic football followers in Sweden might judge Hammarby of expecting too much from themselves, the team is taking inspiration from elite clubs abroad in their training sessions and try to run the organization as professional as possible. The different mentality has become an ice breaker in Swedish football, rarely do we see a team who dares to be different but when they do – it seems to work. Hammarby have already defeated bigger names at home such as Djurgarden and Hacken, and kept Elfsborg to a draw on the road. They are all impressive results and Atvidaberg is the weakest name in this comparison.
The hosts have no important missings or suspensions and the projected lineup looks strong
The striker duo of Hammarby in Linus Hallenius and Mans Soderqvist can really make life difficult for the visitors without their captain in the defense, it can turn out to be one of the keys for success. In whichever case, this game could easily be one sided on many levels – the atmosphere, the pace, and the possession will be three helping hands for Hammarby, while Atvidaberg probably must accomplish their best performance of the season to escape with any points. Normally I am against newcomers being favored against an experienced Allsvenskan team, but Hammarby are not any regular newcomers – they are here to stay and I expect a home win easy or hard. Personally I do not have much hope for Atvidaberg this season, but they are welcome to surprise me and I will applause if they do.
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