This is typically a meeting with intense atmosphere between two rivals. Similar to Manchester United and Liverpool, these are the two most successful Swedish teams. You understand that there is a lot of title counting and comparisons, as well as the respective fan bases enjoying when the rival is struggling.
Recently, these meetings lost the spark since Malmo have become too dominant and Goteborg entering a rebuild due to poor finances. Nevertheless, this is a rivarly worth watching. Last time Malmo failed to win the league was 2015 when they finished on 5th place. They quickly got back to win it 2016 and 2017. It is therefore reasonable to believe that 2018 will be yet another successful year, but clearly not at the start.
Malmo have fantastic opportunities to become a real dominant in Swedish football due to their superior finances compared to their competitors. However, with two away losses in a row with excessive results such as 3-0 to Kalmar and 3-0 to Djurgarden, questions are rightfully being asked. Big money has been spent on players who are currently not performing or in some cases even getting playing time, which leads to heavy questioning of the upper management. The squad is under severe pressure to win the next few matches in convincing fashion.
After the 3-0 loss against Djurgarden, Malmo bounced back with a 3-1 victory at home versus Brommapojkarna and created a lot of chances for more. Although, beating newcomers at home does not solve any problems. It remains to see how consistent Malmo really are. Be sure that the players are under pressure and this will test the mental strenght on all of them. They typically play 3-5-2 with wingbacks, but would not be surprised to see them back to 4-4-2 basic framework due to the poor results recently.
The hosts will be able to field a strong team on paper. However, midfield engine Fouad Bachirou (3/0) is unlikely to feature. The same goes for wingback Andreas Vindheim (0/0)
Goteborg entered the season with a new young coach in Poya Asbaghi who prefers a 3-4-3 formation. They have transformed from being a physical long ball team, into a playing team who primarily wants to have possession and find combinations in the attack. A difficult transition, but there is a healthy optimism in the team. The results have been mixed so far, but surely have been unlucky in many matches as well.
Performance wise, Goteborg would normally have at least 4 points more than now. There is a good enough attack to harm any team with Gustav Engvall, veteran Tobias Hysen or recently the icelandic striker Elias Mar Omarsson with 4 goals to his name already. Midfield consist of Mix Diskerud who is the glue holding it together. The visitors does not have any injury concerns at this stage.
~ Last three Allsvenskan league matches between these two ended with both teams scoring.
These clubs met in the Swedish Cup knockout stage, Malmo winning 1-0. That result came in a time where Malmo was in harmony. Times have changed since then. Goteborg have looked exciting to watch and Malmo are showing ups and downs although mainly downs. This meeting will likely not be as one-sided as before. Malmo must perform at home in front of their demanding supporters and Goteborg can clearly sense that Malmo are shaking. To conclude, I see goals coming in both ends since neither team look complete enough to play a perfect game.