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BK Hacken Goteborg vs Djurgarden – home win with -1 Asian Handicap at 11/10
Today’s featured game is the Allsvenskan encounter between Hacken and Djurgarden.
Hacken have been the surprise package this season, scoring goals for fun and playing a carefree style of football that has attracted plenty of admiring glances. They’re just five points adrift of league leaders Elfsborg Boras so there’s a chance that they’ll be in the title race. Let’s face it – they’ve realistically got more chance than AIK Solna or Helsingborg because they score goals. I’d not go overboard with Hacken as their defence isn’t great and they’re not packed with class acts. They do have a strong sense of belief and tenacity, however, and that really works for them. Nobody ever really expects a lot of Hacken, which is interesting because they do tend to deliver a lot, irrespective of who they lose each Summer. For example, they lost hotshot Ranegie to Malmo FF pre-season; did Hacken baulk? Nope – they’ve looked better than ever! Waris is in terrific form and although I question his composure from time to time, he’s making all the right movement and is a nightmare to play against right now. Playmaker Ericsson and battling Makondele have both had good seasons behind him and all of that combined has led to Hacken producing some breathtaking displays. They’ve won three out of their last four games and have scored a minimum of two goals in each game. Only Helsingborg have beaten Hacken during that run because they managed to score three goals. That’s what you’re up against with Hacken, really – score lots of goals or you lose the game. They smashed six goals past IFK Norrkoping in their last game but that wasn’t a great surprise given that IFK Norrkoping only motivate themselves against big sides and because they can’t defend for shit. Thus, conceding twice in ten minutes led to heads dropping and a lack of fight, hence a delighted Hacken running riot. I very much doubt that we’ll see a repeat of that 6-0 scoreline here but with the way that Hacken are playing right now, I certainly wouldn’t rule it out.
Of course, I expect Djurgarden to give a much tougher test to their hosts than IFK Norrkoping did. Hopefully my faith in Djurgarden is not misplaced here because I have a soft spot for them! I’ve watched them innumerate times this season and they’ve always impressed me with their strong sense of belief and attacking style. Well, that was until I watched them host Gefle last time out. Djurgarden were poor in that game – too poor. I saw something in that game that bothered me a lot and it was Djurgarden not fighting for the ball. With 25 minutes left on the clock and a 1-1 scoreline in Stockholm against a side that Djurgarden are better than sitting back against them, Djurgarden were not working hard and they did very little to Gefle, hence the final score being 1-1. If that continues, Djurgarden are in a really bad place because their continuous work ethic is something that makes them hard to play against. Maybe they were missing the suspended Keene more than I’d anticipated for an easy home game but either way, Djurgarden were bad. Djurgarden are good at attacking with pace and skill but they’re horrific when it comes to defending. There’s not a side in this division that they can keep out without a lot of fortune, hence their predicament. Something occurred in their match with Gefle that means that centre-back Pedersen is absent today through injury. Considering that they’re already horrific at the back and are now travelling to face the highest-scoring side in the Allsvenskan, things are not too rosy for Djurgarden right now.
With all of the above in mind, I can’t help but feel that we’re in for a heavy Hacken win. I’ve got a 3-1 scoreline in my head but I just don’t see how Djurgarden will escape without losing this game. Therefore, my call is for Hacken to beat the -1 Asian Handicap at 11/10.
Verdict: BK Hacken Goteborg to beat the -1 Asian Handicap at 11/10.