An early round Stockholm derby is on the menu when the newcomers Hammarby take on Djurgarden in a battle of the capital city. This is a big meeting despite being two mid table teams, but it means a lot for the clubs and the supporters in particular. Hammarby finally promoted after surprisingly many seasons in Superettan and their promotion has been welcomed by many fans around Sweden because Hammarby brings an extra spice to the domestic football with their fanatic fans, huge interest and media hype. Both teams share the same stadium and therefore it is hard to judge the home advantage in this encounter. Djurgarden has become a typical average side in recent years but the derbies are always played like if it was a final. The stadium is sold out and we will witness an intense and rather fierce environment in this clash.
Let us stick to Hammarby for a while – they may be newcomers but they might be the club with the highest ambitions along with Malmo and Goteborg at the moment. The club is on the rise again after a rough patch in the lower series system and they are a welcomed contribution to Allsvenskan. Result wise they have begun strongly with an opening day victory versus the outsiders BK Hacken (2-0) and followed up with another impressive result versus top candidates Elfsborg (1-1) and the confidence seem to be flying high. On the home turf they always play with a lot of energy which originates from the fantastic support from the stands which is beyond admirable. Despite being newcomers to the league they are not predicted to be weak at all, and should under normal circumstances aim for a mid table position.
The characheristics of Hammarby is the hard working mentality, particularly now in the opening few rounds to show themselves that they belong here, and it has been impressive to witness this far. The profilic midfielder Kennedy Bakircioglü is the man to watch out for with his experience from Greece, Netherlands, Spain and also the national team. He is a threat on all set pieces and any area on the final third and it is surely something that Djurgarden will look out for. There are many potential match winners in the lineup, such as last years success Mans Soderqvist who scored ten goals for Kalmar the previous season. Linus Hallenius is another ‘hero’ who returns home after a failed session abroad and he has been a positive influence too. Overall the harmony is on top after their undefeated start and coach Nanne Bergstrand can only be pleased so far. The derby situation is nothing new for Hammarby, who already played once Stockholm derby so far when they beat AIK in the Swedish Cup earlier this season, so the team knows what this will be all about
There are no injury worries for Hammarby except for the probable defender Oliver Silverholt (1/0) who is a doubt.
Djurgarden have ever since the appointment of coach Pelle Olsson become slightly more structured on the defensive side but generally lack the flair and offensive strength going forward. Without blaming Olsson for the average stamp, he is just not a coach who is made for teams with higher ambitions. He was doing a good job with Gefle a couple of seasons ago, which is a small club who mainly always strived to survive – but in Djurgarden the expectations are always fairly high as they wish to aim for the European spots and you can not expect to get there with a defensive minded coach. There are too few threats offensively and the team name is bigger than what is actually displayed on the pitch nowadays. It is a club with a lot of pride and loyal supporters, and in that sense these two teams are very equal. Based on recent performances it is difficult to say where Djurgarden stand at the moment, coming from a 1-1 tie versus Hacken on the road which is a positive point because Hacken are known to be strong at home. They carry one loss in their minds on the opening day when Elfsborg beat Djurgarden with 1-2, which was disappointing but quite expected. The team has not gotten a taste of victory yet which is not optimal coming into a derby like this one – the pressure is therefore on Djurgarden to achieve a result from this clash.
Injury wise, important winger Haris Radetinac (1/0) remains a doubt and defender Fredrik Stenman is also a doubt due to back problems.
It is a huge game for both teams but mainly it is Djurgarden who must perform here after their winless opening. Hammarby have surprised early on and are still being a bit underestimated for being newcomers. They have big resources and good enough players to compete at this level and still remain undefeated. I believe confidence is a factor to consider here, neither team will want to lose this but mentally – Hammarby is the sharper side as they have already beaten the title candidate AIK in a derby situation not long ago. It might be tight, and that is why I find the Hammarby draw no bet option likable as it offers coverage and also according to my view on the teams, Hammarby will be the side closer to the victory.
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