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Elfsborg Boras vs IFK Goteborg – home win at evens.
Today’s featured game is the Allsvenskan heavyweight encounter between Elfsborg Boras and IFK Goteborg.
In a way, Elfsborg have been immaculate so far this season. I think that their away games have benefited them in terms of the turf that they’ve played on but they’ve been absolutely ruthless in front of goal and when a side like Elfsborg is playing well, everyone else should be afraid because they possess one of the best squads in Sweden right now. Six wins from seven Allsvenskan games brings Elfsborg into this game with bags of confidence and the form of Nilssen up front is so impressive that boss Lennartsson can rotate both Elm and Jawo as he sees fit without there being any problems. Svensson, Hult, Claesson, Ishizaki, Hiljemark, Jorgensen – it doesn’t matter who they field; Elfsborg have been superb this season. That’s not to say that they can’t be stopped from playing because a couple of sides have outplayed them in Boras already this season, namely GAIS Goteborg and Djurgarden. However, Elfsborg have simply been much better in front of goal than either side and have subsequently won the games. What can you do against a side like that? Elfsborg are playing like champions and having viewed their rivals at great length, I would not be surprised to see them win the title this season.
IFK Goteborg are probably their main title challengers along with Malmo. However, IFK are still having some problems with blending their new players in and it’s causing problems. Although IFK can arguably match Elfsborg for quality, what they don’t have is Elfsborg’s cohesion and that is a big problem on a stage like this. IFK can occasionally turn things around against lesser sides and win games without playing well but if they take on a good side like Elfsborg with their usual approach then they’re going to lose this game. IFK have not been convincing in defence this season for obvious reasons and their attack is somewhat temperamental. You could make a case for Tobias Hysen being the best forward in Sweden but IFK struggle to forge attacks without their old hands (e.g. Selakovic) on the field and they really don’t like being put under pressure, either – they tend to give up the ball and then give up the game in their minds. The lack of cohesion that IFK have at the moment does affect their mentality and thus I do think that IFK will fall apart at some stage during this game. If this game was 2 months down the line then we might see a different scoreline as IFK are a very good side on paper. However, they’ll have to be better than they’ve been at any stage this season to get a result in Boras, in my view.
The artificial turf at the Boras Arena favours the hosts and with strong momentum behind them, you have to favour Elfsborg to beat unconvincing IFK Goteborg at evens, especially with Selakovic out today.
Verdict: Elfsborg Boras to win at evens.