JON VAN WAGENEN - Friday, August 27, 2010
Alejandro Bedoya's Örebro and Ryan Miller's Halmstad are both involved in key Allsvenskan matchups this weekend while Ljungskile's American duo of Nick Noble and Michael Thomas face IFK Norrköping.
Örebro – Helsingborg
With 20 of 30 games played, this 21st round of the Allsvenskan will most likely determine if the race for first place has two or more teams in the final third of the season.
If third place Örebro want to consider catching the league leaders, this Saturday match is a must win.
Bedoya will be slotted into his normal midfielding position at the starting whistle.
Meanwhile Elfsborg and Malmö, the other members of the top four, meet on Sunday.
Tommy Wirtanen, Peter Westman, Fredrik Nordback and Oskar Johansson are still injured for the home team, who at last have no players suspended.
Conny Carlsson's Helsingborg are at full strength and brimming with depth since acquiring 12-goal scorer Alexander Gerndt from Gefle at midsesason.
Halmstad – Kalmar
Halmstad currently are in the relegation-playoff spot, but they are one of 10 teams who have between 20 and 26 points.
Taking points against Kalmar, who have 25 points, would do a lot to keep their season afloat and Miller will do his best to accomplish that from his usual defending position.
After a disappointing start, Kalmar had held sixth place for six weeks before losing to league-worst Åtvidaberg last week.
Halmstad should have even more despiration, having claimed just one point in their last four matches.
Karl-Johan Johnsson, the 20-year old who recently had established himself as first-string goalie is out after a collision last week gave him internal bleeding.
Jonas Gudni Saevarsson, the Icelandic midfielder, is suspended.
Tobias Carlsson, a veteran back is suspended for the visitors.
IFK Norrköping – Ljungskile
Michael Thomas will look to rejoin Nick Noble in the Ljungskile starting line-up when they visit IFK Norrköping.
Now that Arash Bayat and Gabriel Altemark Vanneryr are back to full strength, Thomas may return to his natural midfield position.
Norrkoping look desitined to return to Sweden's highest division with a comfortable lead above the fight for third place.
Ljungskile's recent win against Trollhättan gave put them six points out of that promotion playoff spot.
Two players will miss the game namely Johan Patriksson, a key midfielder for Ljungskile, and Niklas Westberg, the goalkeeper who has played every minute for Norrköping.