GW27 is the final one before the international break kicks in, and the deadline for it is on Saturday at 11.30 CET. We have the final Stockholm derby to look forward to this weekend, as league leaders Djurgården hosts third-placed Hammarby, while Malmö aims to pile on the pressure at home to Göteborg. But first, the gameweek review!
Gameweek 26 review
The top four teams in the league all had games they “should” win, yet games are not won on paper and they all struggled, to a certain extent. Hammarby’s struggle might have been the least intense, and very much narrowed down to the first 30 minutes or so, as Örebro took the lead in the 11th minute thanks to a goal by Viktor Prodell (6.5m). Örebro were then close to a second not long after. Prodell thus scored his second goal of the season, in just 1296 minutes played… Turns out Hammarby were having none of it though and in the 39th minute equalised through Vladimir Rodic (8.2m). Nikola Djurdjic (10.4m) made it 2-1 after the break, and Rodic added to that just five minutes later. Rodic wasn’t done yet though, and in the 80th minute he got his hattrick through some nice footwork and a great finish – he looked very dominant and in the mood to score goals. Mats Solheim (4.9m) settled the scoreline at 5-1 in the 94th minute. Before we deem Rodic the new Muamer Tankovic (9.5m) though, he did score three goals from four shots (all on target), while Tankovic was unfortunate to blank as he was very lively, shooting five times (three on target). No such “luck” for another blanker though, as owners of Alexander Kačaniklić (8.4m) were left feeling equally frustrated, but without much in the way of positive signs – he had just one shot all game and it was blocked. Overall, he seemed a bit reluctant to shoot, looking for options to pass whenever he got into threatening positions.
Meanwhile, Malmö dominated AFC Eskilstuna for long periods of the game but struggled to make anything of it. They had the ball 61% of the time and fired 11 shots (5 on target) while AFC Eskilstuna just had 2 shots (0 on target). AFC didn’t go down without a fight though and just as their title rivals were starting to lick their lips at the prospects of dropped points, Anders Christiansen (10.0m) stepped up and won the game for Malmö. Malmö keeper Johan Dahlin (6.1m) missed the game due to fatigue but should be reinstated against Göteborg in GW27, though nothing can be guaranteed with Malmö in regards to rotation currently.
Djurgården had a tough time as well away to Östersund, a club in free-fall both on and off the pitch. They lost their clean sheet to a Jordan Attah Kadiri (4.5m) volley in the 28th minute, but equalised deep into the stoppage time of the first half, which sparked some controversy as it was a tad bit over the allotted 2 minutes added (really not by much though), the goal came from a corner and there were potential shouts for a handball on Jonathan Ring (8.0m). Emotions were running high and Östersund coach Ian Burchnall got himself sent up to the stands after complaining too vividly. In the end, it was this seasons Djurgården hero Marcus Danielsson (6.2m) who stepped up and headed in another corner from Elliot Käck (5.9m) to make sure Djurgården held onto the number one spot one more week. Clean sheet prospects for Djurgården at home to Hammarby and away to Göteborg remain slightly iffy at best, as does the final game away to Norrköping – leaving only the home banker against Örebro in GW29 as close to a sure thing for their defensive assets. As they keep demonstrating though, they also carry a significant attacking threat. Confusion regarding the starting striker spot between Emir Kujovic (9.4m) and Mohamed Buya Turay (9.7m) remains an issue, effectively ruling both out at this point in time unfortunately (especially for the captaincy, if you have either you might be best of just holding and hoping they get enough pitch time).
AIK struggled big-time away to Elfsborg and though they managed to sneak in 1-0 in the 75th minute through Henok Goitom (9.8m), Elfsborg equalised just eight minutes later thanks to Jonathan Levi (7.6m). The champions of last season have been looking a bit off lately and without the aid of injured duo Chinedu Obasi (8.5m) and Nabil Bahoui (9.1m) it would appear the attack is not quite functioning properly, Goitom and Kolbeinn Sigthorsson (8.9m) dropping down deep to spread the balls to virtually no one in the penalty box. We saw an improvement on this for the final 20 minutes though, and I’m sure Rikard Norling is looking at ways to fix this issue ahead of the final four games.
Finally, here are some gameweek 26 stats, this week gathered from @FantasyGuiden on Twitter;
The three most popular captains in the top 1k were:
Muamer Tankovic; Captained by 51.7%, EO 144.5%, scored 2 points.
Sead Haksabanovic; Captained by 20.2%, EO 103.1%, scored 3 points.
Nikola Djurdjic; Captained by 3.3%, EO 31.4%, scored 9 points.
And here are the same stats for the top 100 managers:
Muamer Tankovic; Captained by 64%, EO 158%, scored 2 points.
Sead Haksabanovic; Captained by 16%, EO 104%, scored 3 points.
Vladimir Rodic; Captained by 4%, EO 10%, scored 18 points.
Gameweek 27 preview
The big fixture this week is without a doubt the Stockholm derby that contains first-placed Djurgården against third-placed rivals Hammarby. Emotions will be running high so expect a few yellow cards to be bandied about. In recent years this has been a bad fixture for Djurgården, from the last 9 games in the league (since Hammarby came back up in 2015) the result reads as 1 win, 2 draws, and 6 losses with a goal difference of 13-20. As alluded to before the game against AIK, Djurgården have been notoriously bad in the derbies since 2011 really, but to be fair they’ve never been close to this good during that period. The same could be said of Hammarby though, who keeps smashing in goals pretty much every week (65 scored so far, in comparison to Djurgården’s tally of 46). They are in fact just 5 goals shy of the record set by Kalmar in 2008 for most goals scored (70) in Allsvenskan since moving to a 16-team league, with 4 games to go. Djurgården’s counter-weapon is their defence which in turn is miles better than Hammarby’s, conceding just 15 in comparison to the significantly less impressive 35. Clean sheets looks unlikely for either team though so this will come down to who can keep their nerve and as obvious as it sounds – score the most goals. Advantage Hammarby thus, if only just.
Malmö have a tricky fixture at home to Göteborg, not helped in the slightest by the fact they also played a high-intensity game against FC Köpenhamn on Thursday. Both Anders Christiansen and Sören Rieks (9.4m) went off due to injury concerns and are now doubts ahead of GW27, to be assessed during the Friday. Largely, this one is really tough to call. Malmö can’t afford to drop points but as AIK saw, Göteborg are no pushovers on their travels. With question marks surrounding AC and Rieks, I do wonder just how much they can afford to rotate. The international break is coming up after this week so assuming fitness, the best squad should still get a runout.
Meanwhile, AIK are looking to pounce on their rivals tough fixtures in what looks like a home banker against Örebro. Out of Europe unlike Malmö, they’ve had all week to prepare and are comfortably the favourites in this one. Many will be backing AIK’s defence to do well, but just two clean sheets in the last eight games is a handy reminder to not go overboard on that faith. Örebro have also scored in four of their last five games away from home, though Carlos Strandberg and Filip Rogic had a lot to do with that, and they’re now gone. AIK will be going for it and it looks unlikely that Örebro can put up enough resistance to steal any points from the black and yellows. Henok Goitom and Kolbeinn Sigthorsson should be able to provide some attacking returns.
Players to target
Henok Goitom have the fixture this week, also in the coming weeks AIK face Falkenberg (a), Malmö (a) and Sundsvall (H) where only Malmö stick out as a tough game (barring any late-season coming to life from the teams involved in the relegation battle). On 4 goals and 8 assists so far, it’s not been a super-prolific year for Goitom, though the stats would have looked better if Sebastian Larsson (8.9m) and before that Daniel Sundgren, wasn’t taking penalties. He is however very involved in everything AIK does offensively and should trickle in a few points in the run-in. If you can’t afford him or want to go more differential, Kolbeinn Sigthorsson is 0.9m less and until Nabil Bahoui is back he’ll most likely play all games.
Sead Haksabanovic away to Sundsvall looks a solid pick this week, with Malmö, Göteborg, Hammarby and Djurgården all facing eachother. Sundsvall are deeply involved in a relegation battle though, so don’t expect them to go down without a fight – but options are a bit limited this GW.
Jesper Karlsson (6.3m) gets a surprise call up to the captaincy debate, and his stats and fixture implies good things can happen to those daring to be brave this week. 4 goals and 3 assists in his last 7 games, Elfsborg entertain Falkenberg who’s kept 1 clean sheet in their last 9 matches.
If you do back Hammarby to continue their impressive goal-scoring despite the tough fixture, flavour of the last couple of weeks is Vladimir Rodic who’s now on 6 goals and 1 assist from just 3 games played. Nikola Djurdjic deserves a mention as well, though he’s just as likely to brace as he is to snatch a red card in this kind of game (maybe he does both!).
That’s’ it, as always, good luck this gameweek and if you want to chat about fantasy football either comment here below – or hit me up @FF_Meltens on Twitter!