Hammarby look a threat on trip to Elfsborg
Loss of key players is affecting hosts' consistency
Elfsborg have been one of the most consistent teams in Sweden since the turn of the millennium but are languishing seventh this season and look opposable odds-on favourites at home to Hammarby, who are just one place and one point below them.
European football has become the norm for Elfsborg, who have played in either the Champions League or the Europa League in 11 of the last 16 seasons.
But they missed out on qualification last term – finishing fifth – and will have to improve if they are to muscle in on this season's top three and a guaranteed place in the Europa League qualifying round.
Selling their best players has not helped the situation.
Over the last 12 months, attacking midfielder Victor Claessen, midfielder Marcus Rohden and winger Simon Hedland (all key players) have sealed moves to FK Krasnodar, Crotone and Union Berlin and not been adequately replaced.
Elfsborg look to be a club in slow decline but the opposite appears to be happening with Hammarby, who are desperate to reward their large and long-suffering band of supporters.
All of Hammarby's home games this season have been watched by more than 20,000 fans and their backing is being rewarded by better performances on the pitch.
Hammarby won promotion in 2015, finished 11th in 2016 and are eighth this term, having lost just two of their last 13 league games.
They are a hard team to beat and have an in-form striker – Gambian Pa Dibba – who has netted four goals in their last four matches.
Elfsborg are the league's top scorers with 28 in 14 games but have an unreliable defence and have kept just two clean sheets in ten, so they are by no means certain to take three points.
Draw or Hammarby double chance
1pt Evs bet365, Betway