Preview: IFK Norrkoping vs. Varnamo – prediction, team news, lineups

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Preview: IFK Norrkoping vs. Varnamo – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Monday’s Swedish Allsvenskan clash between IFK Norrkoping and Varnamo, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

IFK Norrkoping are set to host Varnamo at Nya Parken on Monday in Sweden’s Allsvenskan as both hope to avoid a battle for top-flight survival.

The home side are in 14th place on 11 points and occupy the relegation playoff spot, while the visitors are level on points but one position ahead due to better goal difference.

Match preview

Norrkoping’s first third of the season has been poor and they have averaged 1.1 points per game, exactly half of what they managed during their last title-winning campaign in 2015.

Snoka have not finished in the top three since 2018 and have worryingly ended the last two seasons in the bottom half.

The hosts have failed to win any of their last four matches, losing three, including their most recent outing last weekend against Brommapojkarna.

Manager Andreas Alm signed as a player for the club in 2003 and though this is his first season in charge, he will naturally be disappointed with his side’s campaign so far.

Indeed, only 15th-placed and second-last Kalmar have conceded more than Norrkoping’s 23 goals, but Kalmar have played an additional game.

Perhaps Alm’s side can find solace in the fact that they have a fair home record and have won twice at Nya Parken in the Allsvenskan this season, only losing to first-placed Malmo and seventh-placed Hammarby.

As for the visitors, they also have 11 points but because their goal difference of minus seven is two better than their opponents’ figure, they find themselves in 13th place.

Additionally, though they are already 10 points behind third-placed GAIS, who occupy the division’s final Europa Conference League qualification spot, there are still 20 games left to play and this gap could still be narrowed.

However, it cannot be said that Varnamo have had a good season especially when considering that they are averaging 1.1 points per game, significantly less than last term’s record of 1.5.

Anes Mravac was the club’s assistant manager through the 2023 season but was given the reins in November last year after former head coach Kim Hellberg left to join Hammarby following the end of the campaign.

Mravac’s side lost last time out against Kalmar, and his team have an overall Allsvenskan record of three wins, two draws and five losses this term.

Varnamo’s three league wins have interestingly all come on the road, and in their five away games they have only lost once to ninth-placed AIK.

These positive results have helped to keep the visitors just above the relegation zone, but if they are to avoid being dragged into a fight for survival later in the season then victory against fellow strugglers Norrkoping would be a good start.

IFK Norrkoping Swedish Allsvenskan form:

Varnamo Swedish Allsvenskan form:

Team News

The hosts come into the game without midfielder Jacob Ortmark, who is recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament injury and is not expected back until June.

Elsewhere, Norrkoping will also have to contend with the absence of Joseph Ceesay and Kristoffer Khazeni, who much like Ortmark, are due to be back in June.

Visitors Varnamo have no injury concerns for Monday’s clash but they will be without defender Emin Hasic as a consequence of him accumulating too many yellow cards.

Albin Lohikangas could come back into central defence in place of Hasic, and this would allow Mravac to continue playing his usual 4-3-3 formation.

IFK Norrkoping possible starting lineup:
Sidklev; Jensen, Abrahamsson, Calisir, Heggem; Odefalk, Fritzson, Waker; Andersson, Vasic, Christensen

Varnamo possible starting lineup:
Rasheed; Winsth, Larsson, Lohikangas, Bergh; Nasstrom, Wenderson, Thern; Adjei, Kalu, Engvall

We say: IFK Norrkoping 1-2 Varnamo

Although both sides have the same points and similar goal difference, Norrkoping have conceded 23 goals, five more than their opponents, and this defensive frailty could be detrimental to their chances of victory.

Additionally, Varnamo’s good away record will likely mean that Mravac and his players feel confident that they can achieve a positive result in Monday’s clash.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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