PREVIEW: WEEKEND SWEDISH ACTION
Brian Edwards and Degerfors will look to crawl out of the relegation zone this weekend when they host Ryan Miller and his Halmstad teammates.
Ljungskile SK - Jonkopings Sodra IF
American Patrick Hopkins will line up in the center of Ljungskiles defense when they host Jonkopings this weekend.
Ljungskile have risen up to fifth in the Superettan, but a bevy of clubs sit within a few points of them, hoping to make a last ditch effort for promotion.
One of those clubs is Jonkopings who, after a bright start, stumbled through the mid season and currently sit ninth in the standings. Though they only have two wins in their last 14 matches, Sodra are still only nine points away from potential promotion with 13 matches left.
Striker Kenny Pavey and defender Josemar both missed Ljungskiles impressive tie with Osters last weekend and it is unclear whether or not they will be able to participate this weekend while Jonkopings are ravaged with suspensions. Fredric Fendrich, Andreas Tegstrom and Joakim Karlsson all have to sit out the match for Sodra due to yellow card accumulation.
Hammarby IF - Umea FC
American Baggio Husidic should start in a holding midfield role this week for Hammarby as the Bajen host Umea FC.
Ex-UNC Tar Heel Billy Schuler figures to be an attacking option off of the bench for Hammarby's American manager Gregg Berhalter.
Hammarby have really struggled lately, winless in their last six matches, having drawn twice and lost the other four times. As such, they have re-tooled in the summer transfer window and added the likes of Danish international Thomas Christensen, Canadian international Nik Ledgerwood and former Trelleborg striker Mattias Adelstam.
Daniel Theorin will miss the rest of the season for Hammarby after suffering a torn pectoral muscle. In addition to Theorin's prolonged absence, Bajen will be forced to go on without captain Andreas Dahl who's been out since the end of June. Hammarby will also be without the suspended Marcus Thorstrand after the defender picked up his third yellow card last weekend. On the other sideline, Umea are completely healthy and have no suspensions facing them this weekend.
Degerfors IF - Halmstad BK
Brian Edwards and Degerfors host Halmstad and their American right back Ryan Miller this weekend. Both Americans are presumptive starters for their sides.
Degerfors have weathered a difficult schedule to start the second half of the Superettan season as they look to climb out of the relegation zone. Having drawn with league leaders Osters two weeks ago while allowing two goals at the end of last weeks match against Jonkopings Sodra to allow Sodra to tie the score, Degerfors are only three points away from safety and a favorable schedule approaches.
Halmstad broke a four game winless streak last week when they prevailed over Hammarby 2-0. Miller has been an integral piece of Halmstad's season thus far, providing four assists in 17 starts. Currently Halmstad are in third place in the Superettan, which would put them into the promotion playoffs at the end of the season if their current standing holds.
Degerfors have taken a big blow this week as star midfielder Christopher Brandeborn has had surgery on his hand which may keep him out of action for a while, however Brandeborn is hopeful he will be allowed to play immediately with the assistance of a hard cast on his hand. Gheorghe Andronic is close to making his return to midfield for Degerfors but is still a few weeks away and Niklas Klingberg is a game time decision.
Halmstad are not reporting any injuries while they are bolstered by the return of both Michael Svensson and Christian Jardler this weekend, both of whom were suspended for last weeks Hammarby match.