Djurgardens IF will be looking to make it eight games unbeaten in the Swedish Allsvenskan when they take on Malmo at the Tele2 Arena on Monday evening.
The hosts are now up to fourth in the table after their solid recent run of form, but they will have their work cut out, as their opponents are up in third place.
Djurgarden are still in the race for the Allsvenskan title as we approach the halfway stage of the season, having taken 27 points from their opening 15 games, which means they are now eight points behind league-leaders Hacken.
It was a very poor start to the campaign for the Iron Stoves, collecting just seven points from their opening six games, but they have really started to turn the corner recently, winning five and drawing two of their last seven league games.
Kim Bergstrand’s side have picked up four clean sheets during that time, including one in the match against top-of-the-table Hacken at the end of May, in what was a very impressive performance.
Djurgarden have the best home record in the division, which bodes well heading into Monday’s game, winning seven and drawing one of their first eight matches at the Tele2 Arena, conceding just four goals in the process.
Last time out, DIF also managed to impress on the road, recording a 2-1 victory away against Varnamo, with goals from Rasmus Schuller and Oliver Berg turning the game around in the second half.
Malmo are also in the race for the Allsvenskan title, having taken 34 points from their opening 14 games, which leaves them just one point behind league-leaders Hacken, with a game in hand at their disposal.
The Sky Blue will be hoping to win their 23rd league title, and they made an unbelievable start to the campaign, winning their first eight league games, but they have started to struggle somewhat in recent weeks.
Henrik Rydstrom’s side have won just three of their last six games, falling to a very surprising defeat against Mjallby at home in their last match, with the visitors emerging as shock 2-1 winners courtesy of first-half goals from David Lofquist and Max Fenger.
Malmo squandered a fantastic opportunity to go top of the table in their last match, and their task does not get any easier this weekend, having lost five of their last seven matches against Djurgardens IF, winning only once.
Djurgardens IF’s only notable absentee is Elliot Kack, with the defender set to miss out again, having been ruled out for the entirety of the current campaign, but Bergstrand otherwise has a full squad to choose from.
Seventeen-year-old central midfielder Lucas Bergvall was withdrawn at half time last time out, being replaced by Oscar Fallenius, who helped change the game in the second half, so the 21-year-old could get the nod in the engine room, next to Besard Sabovic and Rasmus Schuller.
Malmo have a number of players missing through injury, with Anders Christiansen still unavailable for selection, having missed the last six games, while Rydstrom will also have to make do without Derek Cornelius, Stefano Holmquist and Anton Tinnerholm.
Having lost the last match in pretty disappointing fashion, there may be a couple of changes for the Sky Blue, with Sebastian Jorgensen replacing Moustafa Zeidan at left-wing, and Taha Ali coming in for Soren Rieks in a left-wing back role.
Djurgardens IF possible starting lineup:
Zetterstrom; Johansson, Lofgren, Danielson, Andersson; Sabovic, Fallenius, Schuller; Asoro, Berg, Radetinac
Malmo possible starting lineup:
Dahlin; Moisander, Olsson, Busanello; Ceesay, Lewicki, Pena, Ali; Nanasi, Thelin, Jorgensen