THURSDAY MAY 24th
Boca got a point last night with a late equaliser, FC Dallas lost 2-1and were very unfortunate not to claim a win, let alone a point, they led in the 41st minute with a goal which came from a corner, with FCD winning two headers in the box, one uncontested and defending these crosses is clearly a problem for Fire at the moment, something we discussed yesterday. Dallas were unable to hold on till the break, which would have been key , conceding a wonder goal a few minutes later. Early in the second period Dallas had a penalty, which the home keeper saved well, 15 minutes later Fire were also awarded a spot kick, also saved , but the rebound was put in by Marco Pappa, who was not only inside the box when the kick was taken, but virtually level with the penalty taker ! Everyone on the pitch and in the stadium saw this infringement except for the two officials ! Dallas then came within a inch of equalising as normal time expired. If you want to watch the highlights, all the sordid details can be viewed on this high quality, albeit painful LINK .
I was very pleased with the Fire- FCD preview and how the summer leagues have started for us in general.
For today, we already have the bet given yesterday at circa 3.0 and which is reproduced at the foot of the email and I have one further selection for today's football .
But we can start with a few basic stats and notes about tonight's matches in Allsvenskan, Malmo FF make the long trip north to Sundsvall to face GIF, but seem to have most of the advantages. The hosts have had a quick turnaround after being given a bit of a lesson by Elfsborg on Monday. losing 3-0 on home soil, they ended the match with ten men after the dismissal of Robert Lundstrom, but were already three down at the time and have now failed to score in four of their last five starts. Now they have to take on another top two side and one who is not only fresher, having not played since last Thursday, but also hungry to keep in touch with Elfsborg at the top of the table and in good goalscoring form, with two or more goals in their last four road games. Domestic football closes down for five weeks after today, so MFF will be very motivated to finish on a high note and close that gap at the top. We could, of course, argue the same about GIF, but whilst they started well on Monday, their heads dropped a little after failing behind and I feel they will be looking forward to the break, they have a bit of a boost with the return of Myrestam on the left, which is handy with Lundstrom out and also Ari Skúlason to the midfield, but they look up against it. Traditionally MFF struggle here, but have not visited Sundsvall for four years.
GIF : 1. Oscar Berglund,2. Christian Brink,3. David Myrestam,4. Stefan Ålander,5. Roger Risholt,6. Patrik Rikama-Hinnenberg,7. Daniel Sliper,8. Fredric Jonson,9. Johan Eklund,11. Ari Skúlason,12. Fredrik Holster,14. Pa Dibba, 16. Simon Helg,20. Niclas Larsson,21. Michel Pires,22. Marcus Danielsson,23. Kevin Walker,25. Nuri Mustafi.
MFF: Johan Dahlin, Viktor Noring, Daniel Andersson, Filip Helander, Jasmin Sudic, Pontus Jansson, Filip Stenström, Markus Halsti, Ulrich Vinzents, Simon Thern, Jimmy Durmaz, Jiloan Hamad, Erik Friberg, Ivo Pekalski, Simon Kroon, Alex Nilsson, Daniel Larsson, Dardan Rexhepi, Mathias Ranégie.
Much further South (and West) IFK host a favourite opponent in Kalmar FF, the visitors have not won here inside 90 minutes in eight visits and the hosts have scored two or more goals in each of those starts, three plus in five of them. KFF have kept just one cleansheet since the opening day of the campaign and that came against winless and woeful basement club Orebro. IFK entered the season with big dreams but have yet to really fire, they are without a win in four, but those games included fixtures against the top two and the derby game with GAIS, they normally score, having registered in nine of their last ten starts, only coming up short in the Boras Arena, where the leaders are almost unbeatable. I see this as a big game for the home side if they are to achieve anything this season, they cannot enter the break more than ten points adrift of top spot and simply have to win today. The visitors arrive without Mats Solheim, Tobias Carlsson, Rasmus Sjöstedt and Daniel Mendes , the first three have hardly played a game, but they are missing the hugely experienced Carlsson at the back and the loss of second top scorer Mendes ,one of only two players with more than a single goal this season is.....
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