Hammarby are something of the surprise leaders of the Swedish Allsvenskan and they will be hoping to ensure they go into the mid-season break still in top spot by having another good weekend. Kalmar are a decent side too though and will be hoping to secure all the points as they aim to battle their way into European contention.
It has been a season of surprises so far in Sweden. Defending champions Malmo find themselves in the bottom half and have already sacked their title-winning manager. Meanwhile Hammarby, who finished in mid-table mediocrity last term have seen a remarkable turnaround, winning 8 of their opening 9 matches to the surprise of the rest of the division.
Stefan Billborn was promoted from assistant boss to the top job in January and he really has had a dramatic effect on this side, who have been scoring for fun so far this term with 2.4 goals per game on average. They’ve only won the Swedish Allsvenskan once previously but are currently the bookies favourites to double that.
Victory for Kalmar would see them move to within six points of Hammarby and although they won’t really be thinking about a title charge, they will believe they are good enough to get a result here. They’ve looked solid at home so far this term with a 75% clean sheet ratio in front of their own fans and just one home goal conceded suggesting they will be a match for Hammarby’s lively attack.
They’ve lost just 1 of their last 16 home matches, including a few friendlies. Therefore the Guldfågeln Arena has been a bit of a fortress for them in recent times and that kind of record will only give them confidence.
It also suggests that Hammarby might be a bit short for the win here. Their free-scoring attack was finally thwarted last time out as they sunk to a 1-0 home defeat against AIK. Even before that a few cracks had been starting to show and their defence has certainly not really looked like title-winning material. They nearly let a 4-0 lead slip against Sundsvall, winning only 4-3 in the end. Meanwhile they benefited from 3 red cards to opposition players in the following two games so they have perhaps rode their luck at times and maybe aren’t quite as good as their dominant league position suggests.
Overall backing Kalmar Double Chance looks good, especially given how rarely they are beaten on home turf.
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4 of the last 6 meetings have been drawn. Hammarby haven’t won on any of their last 6 trips to Kalmar, losing 4.