Damallsvenskan - Matchday 19 Preview: A title tilt is in the offing

Damallsvenskan - Matchday 19 Preview: A title tilt is in the offing

Fans may have to wait until Sunday for the biggest match of the season but the other matches still present plenty of intriguing subplots as well.

Kudzi Musarurwa

With only four more rounds to go in the Damallsvenskan, the league continues to provide fans with some fantastic match ups in each round, and as the end of the season draws closer, the battle at the top and at the bottom of the Damallsvenskan shows no signs of slowing down.

The top two will have to wait until Sunday afternoon to step onto the pitch but those below them in the table will certainly set the table as they all have something to play for with only four matches left in the season.

Linköpings and Rosengård go head to head

The biggest fixture of the round will certainly be when Linköpings FC welcome fellow title challengers FC Rosengård to their stadium on Sunday afternoon. The two have been neck-and-neck since the season started as they both battle for the right to call themselves the Damallsvenksan champions of 2016. The positioning in the table has swapped hands between the two all season long and as it stands, Linköpings are in first with 50 points while Rosengård trail just behind on 48 points. A draw will suit the home side well but a win for either team will certainly give them an extra boost in the last three matches of the season.

The last time these two teams met in a competitive fixture was in the Svenska Cupen Final where Rosengård came out on top with a 3-1 win. Linköpings will not want a repeat of that score line and will be looking to the likes of dynamic duo Pernille Harder and Stina Blackstenius to continue their rich vein of form in front of goal. Harder has been struggling with some injury issues but we could see her fixture this weekend due to the nature of this clash. Although both teams featured in the UEFA Women's Champions League during the week, Rosengård may have the tougher time of it this weekend due to fatigue.

Their match against Breiðablik UBK in Iceland was during difficult weather conditions and this could affect the fitness level of the squad. Rosengård will undoubtedly look to their forwards to get the job done and with Lotta SchelinElla Masar and Lieke Martens all in good form, the away side will certainly feel that they could come away from Linköping with all three points. This may very well be a proverbial "6 pointer" and all eyes will certainly be on what should be a fantastic advert for the women's game in Sweden.

The bottom two look to move out of the relegation zone

Umeå IK and Mallbackens IF are two points away from safety but they both have a difficult Matchday 19 to navigate in order to move away from the bottom of the table. Mallbackens get their match underway first on Saturday afternoon against Kvarnsvedens IF who are eight points above them in the table and also find themselves in the need of three points after drawing their last two matches. Kvarnsvedens are a team that can surprise and Tabita Chawinga has been in great form for them with ten goals so far this season. At home, Kvarnsvedens should have no problems picking up a win against the visiting Mallbackens side and unless the away side can cause a surprising upset, this should be a home win for Kvarnsvedens and a chance to rediscover their form again.

Umeå are at home but face just as challenging a match as Mallbackens do when they play Djurgårdens IF this weekend. Djurgårdens are in fifth and six points away from fourth but only two points away from sixth. The away side will be looking to pick up what should be a straight-forward three points against an Umeå side that has struggled to stop conceding goals. We can expect to see someone like Mia Jalkerud to get in amongst the goals for Djurgårdens as she looks to add to her nine goals this season and unless Tove Enblom is in ispired form for Umeå in goal, there should be no reason why Djurgårdens cannot claim their eight win of the season.

The battle for third heats up as Eskilstuna and Piteå face off

Eskilstuna United DFF and Piteå IF have been involved in a heated race to finish third for most of this season and when they meet in Matchday 19, it will be an opportunity for either team to take control of that race as the season edges closer to its conclusion. Eskiltuna come into this match one point behind Piteå after their three-all draw with Djurgårdens while Piteå sit in third, on 32 points, after their two-one win over Mallbackens.

Mimmi Larsson has been a bright point this season for Eskilstuna and has helped their cause by picking up nine goals so far this season. For Piteå, Felicia Karlsson has been the go-to for goals and she currently sits on six for the season. Eskilstuna will hope that Larrson will find a way past a very solid Piteå defensive unit or at least provide the space for her teammates to capitalise on while Piteå will hope that Hilda Carlén in goal and Faith Ikidi ahead of her will stand strong against Eskilstuna's forward line and the creativity of the likes of Australian international Chloe Logarzo.

Kristianstads hope to move away from the bottom with a win against Vittsjö

Kristianstads DFF know that if they can find a win between now and November, they will all but guarantee another season in the Damallsvenskan for themselves. Their first chance of doing so in the last four matches will be at home against Vittsjö GIK who are themselves, looking to move up the table. Kristianstads currently sit in tenth, two points away from the relegation zone, while Vittsjö will have ambitions of picking up all three points and move from seventh into sixth.

Neither team has been particularly successful at keeping clean sheets so far this season so we may see a shootout as both teams for for all three points. At this point in the season, any point picked up is vital for most, if not all teams, and even though neither team is challenging for the title, they will both want a win this weekend.

Örebro look to keep form going against Göteborg

KIF Örebro come into this weekend after an impressive 2-2 home draw against title contenders Linköpings. That draw will give the home side plenty of confidence when they square up against sixth placed Göteborg FC who come to the Behrn Arena fully confident themselves after a 3-1 win over Kristianstads last time out. Canadian international Melissa Tancredi has been the story of the season so far for Örebro and has come back from the Olympic break still in good form.

For Göteborg, it's been Pauline Hammarlund's season without a doubt. Hammarlund's eight goals have been the biggest positive for a team that has always seen itself in the upper echelons of the Swedish game and will be disappointed in finding themselves so far away from the top of the table. On any other weekend, Göteborg would be the big favourites in this match up but after their performance against Linköpings, Örebro will feel like they have enough about them to get a famous win in front of their home fans.