Superettan continues when newcomers Utsiktens BK will try to bounce back after they got pulled down back to earth after their flying start in the opening round. Surprisingly, Utsikten began the season with a 4-1 victory over usually solid Degerfors and immediately fired a warning to the rest of the league that they are not going to be any push overs in this league. The fairytale story ended quickly though, as Sirius proved to be too difficult to handle for the newcomers and the loss was a clear 0-3 let down and only managed to find one shot on target themselves.
The question is whether Utsiktens can repeat their good performance at home on their artificial turf where they were strong throughout last season. The club itself is located in the Gothenburg area, and therefore compete with IFK Goteborg and BK Hacken in the region (two strong teams in Allsvenskan) which consequently means that they usually can not attract the good players in their region and instead only build off potential rather acceptable players without any prolific names. The coach Janne Carlsson has a young squad, and overall quite unknown for many of the other teams in Superettan. Unknown does not necessarily mean bad, so the squad should not be underestimated based on talent. The biggest threat in the squad seems to be winger Luka Mijaljevic (26/20) who had an incredible season in divison 1, which is the third tier in Sweden. Though, despite possessing some quality here and there, the team remains one of the candidates for relegation – however, should not be taken lightly and deserves respect particularly on their home turf.
The hosts have a relatively healthy squad. Midfielder Jespet Olofsson missed the last game and his replacement Niklas Tidstrand got the chance instead. However, the fitness is questionable after only three U21 matches during the spring. Either way, Utsiktens do not rely on one specific player and absences should not be too influencial as this is more of a collective hard working team.
Artificial surface should not be a problem for Assyriska FF who have started the season marvellous with two clean sheets and four points. The victory came versus struggling Angelholm, and followed up with a goalless tie against a pretty strong Varnamo side. The visitors play regularly on artificial turf and belongs to the upper half of the table, perhaps even a top five team this season. Unlike majority of the Superettan teams, Assyriska plays with the ball on the ground instead of the more straight target style of football, meaning they are technically gifted and a very experienced Superettan team in general after spending many seasons in the league. Also, majority of the players have a foreign background and therefore have slight edge of being more international influenced even in their playing style instead of the typically Swedish way which generally is about a lot of running and physical play.
After the optimistic start, the confidence level is high among the Assyriska players at the moment. In fact, the 0-0 draw versus Varnamo could have easily been a victory if the sharpness was there in the finishing moments. Offensively, striker Mattias Genc is a constant threat with his movement and if he should have a bad day, Admir Aganovic is another striker who has a good goal scoring record in Superettan. Coach Azrudin Valentic possess a very experienced team and more importantly compared to recent years – a far more defensively solid team which can be the difference this season.
For the visitors, only midfielder Christopher Brandeborn (1/0) is likely to be out. Even though winger Christer Youssef and midfielder Fredrik Holster both had doubts in the last game, they are included in the squad which is a plus – meaning Assyriska have a pleasant situation in terms of available players.
The opening victory for Utsiktens should not be taken as a fluke, but their confidence might be too shattered at this stage to genuinely believe in another upset. Both teams are used to this surface and therefore the advantage goes to Assyriska in many of the deciding factors such as ball possession, danger in front of goal, and a defensively stable team. Utsiktens inexperience can definitely cost them in a game like this, in particular when Assyriska is on their current mood and breathe a high optimism after their brilliant start. Newcomers generally do not fare well in the first season, and I do not see why Utsiktens have been declared favorites here – perhaps because of their surprising home victory. Personally I like the chances of a road victory here but will not be too greedy and go for the draw no bet option to a good price which offers coverage if this would come harder than expected.
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