Damallsvenskan Week Nine Preview: Can the top two maintain their unbeaten ways?

FC Rosengård and Linköpings FC are neck-and-neck at the top of the standings still, without a defeat to their names this season. Can that last another week?

Damallsvenskan Week Nine Preview: Can the top two maintain their unbeaten ways?
Can Linköping continue to keep up with last year's champions, Rosengård? (Photo: SVT Sport)

Despite several teams only playing their round eight games on Sunday, week nine in the Damallsvenskan gets underway as soon as Wednesday due to the Svenska Cup semi-finals this weekend.

FC Rosengård visit Piteå IF while Eskilstuna United host Linköpings FC on Saturday and Sunday respectively, and since none of these four play each other in this round of games, they drag four other league rivals into midweek games with them.

Two big contenders for the double

It's a big week for both Rosengård and Linköping, who are looking to keep up with each other in the title race before potentially setting up a cup final against one another at the weekend.

With goal difference the only thing separating them at the top of the standings at the moment, Wednesday's games are even more significant. Both will be expected to win and win comfortably, and they will be hoping to rack up the goals to help them in the race for the title.

Rosengård visit Umeå IK in their fixture, the team sat second-from-bottom with just three points and no wins from their first eight games. They've lost all of their last five games, with the latest a poor 3-1 loss to mid-table Kvarnsvedens IK. A point would be a huge result for them, but they are more than unlikely to get it.

Meanwhile, Linköping clash with Vittsjö GIK, who have had a bang average season so far and sit in seventh. However, they have only won one of their last seven - that against Umeå - and should be no match for a Linköping side whose only dropped points all season have come in a draw with Rosengård.

Interesting battle at the other end too

As well as the developing title race being particularly intriguing, the scrap for survival is shaping up to be something exciting too.

With Umeå expected to drop points this week, Kristianstads DFF have a huge chance to leapfrog them in the standings as they face a Kvarnsveden IK side that are nothing special.

Sat in eighth with just nine points from their first eight games, Kvarnsveden were just three points above the drop zone until a win over Umeå last time out, with the table flattering them after a poor start to the season.

However, Kristianstad haven't recorded a win all season and boast just two points after losing six games already. It will certainly be a game of little quality between the two, but one with plenty of heart given how much is at stake.

KIF Örebro meanwhile, will be looking to follow in the steps of Kvarnsveden. Sat three points above the drop, they will be looking to increase the gap between them and the struggling pack when they face Piteå this week. 

The latter, who will be the away side for the game, have enjoyed mixed form all season but will be keen to get back to winning ways on Wednesday after losing to Linköping at the weekend by a disappointing 4-1 scoreline.

Will it remain a two horse title race?

Back to the other end of the table though, there are a few teams chasing the top two and hoping to capitalise on any slip ups to get themselves back into the running.

One of those teams is Eskilstuna United, who have a relatively routine fixture on their hands as they face Mallbackens IF. The Lysvik-based outfit have won just one game all season, sitting two points and one place above the drop. United will be in a ruthless mood too, that's for sure, having missed the chance to record a fifth successive win at the weekend when they drew with Gotebörg FC.

Meanwhile, it's the latter who are involved in perhaps the week's most highly anticipated fixture - hosting Djurgårdens IF on Saturday in a game of fifth against fourth.

The home side are enduring a blip in form while the visitors have won three of their last four, so it might not be as close a game as the standings suggest. Yet, it is certain to be an entertaining one between two sides with clear quality in their ranks.

Djurgårdens will be hoping to keep up their terrific recent form at the weekend. (Photo: Djurgårdens IF)
Djurgårdens will be hoping to keep up their terrific recent form at the weekend. (Photo: Djurgårdens IF)