It’s that time of year. Texts must be written before the Allsvenskan and it must be tipped.
This year, it’s impossible to put that together in one chronicle. Therefore, there will be two halves. A chronicle about what it will be like for the Allsvenskan to limp further severely covid-injured. One about sports, this one.
This year it is as easy as impossible to predict how it goes and therefore it will not be a traditional tip for me.
But a set tip is also a tip.
The easy thing is to put in the 16 teams on three different levels. The champion team. The chasing challengers. And the rest to avoid the lines down there.
In the lower group, the following teams will end up:
And at the top comes Malmö FF 2021 to take their 22nd Swedish Championship gold.
Isaac Kiese Thelin has moved, the pre-season has been tough and does coach Jon Dahl Tomasson really have a grip on the group?
It is possible to express small doubts, but it is still not serious to tip anything other than gold for Malmö FF.
The only thing that can really threaten is a long-term injury to Anders Christiansen. The best team in the series is remarkably dependent on the best players in the series.
The most exciting and completely unpredictable is what will happen in the chasing challenger league. There are seven teams that are cementing a challenger group in the Allsvenskan now and for the next few years.
The members of the group lie and chop under Malmö. Can threaten the Swedish giant from time to time, can sometimes even twist the gold. But none of the clubs yet have an economy and squad so that it is possible to move the favorite pressure from Malmö in advance.
Superskrällen Mjällby and Örebro made short guest appearances in the group last year, Östersund was there a few years before the bubble burst. Elfsborg was away for a while and IFK Gothenburg is about to get back in earnest.
The reason why it is impossible to know how the mutual order in the group ends is what it looked like last year.
In the end, there were only five points between the second Elfsborg and the sixth Norrköping.
Elfsborg had only 10 points down to eight Hammarby. In previous years, the points gap between teams two and eight had been 22, 21, 18, 18 and 26 points in 2015.
The challenger team will continue to be steady this year. This makes the challenger group unpredictable and it creates new conditions for players, coaches, club leaders and supporters.
It’s easy to panic, talk about crisis and kick coaches when there are many placements up to the top. But when the difference in points is manageable, it is important to have coldness and patience. Will there be? Hardly.
More that makes it impossible to predict the end of the challenger hunt, it is common that the pre-season only gives indications, no overall impressions. But also what the next advance chronicle will be about – covid-19.
During the spring, Hammarby was knocked down by a large spread of infection in the squad, the players are far from recovered. How the virus can get into the troops can unfortunately have a big impact on the Allsvenskan 2021.
And even if I do not tip their mutual final placement – here is the challenger team in alphabetical order.
Do you remember the new young AIK who would play offensive football? A year of chaos later, it is the veterans who will take the team back to the future with a rock-hard defensive and dangerous solid situations. If 30-year-old Nabil Bahoui can find the form, he is like a new acquisition.
The economy is good, the squad is wide and the coaches Bergstrand and Lagerlöf have got many new pieces in place impressively quickly. That Djurgården did not score in the first half of the cup semifinal against Hammarby is a mystery. That the team did not create more sharp chances in others is worrying.
When the big team got lost in the corona fog, Elfsborg slipped up to a second place. This year, the team will answer whether it was a temporary form peak or if the club is back among the best in earnest. For it to succeed, the knee-injured goalkeeper Tim Rönning needs to come back quickly.
Marek Hamsik is a news bomb that can land in any way. That Marcus Berg and Oscar Wendt return home after the European Championships is a much safer card. Kamratgården has become a retreat facility for good old men with homesickness, but the retro shop has not yet been a success.
Two heavy derby victories in the cup but a leaden corona bang in between. With a new, even more energy-intensive style of play, the question is how much that bang will cost and how long the suites will last. That Bajen has a lot of exciting names will not help if the players do not have enough oxygen-rich blood to run.
With goalie Alexander Jeremejeff back, Häcken leads the challenger team. If the gold situation opens up, the team must get rid of the brand that is as strongly linked to Häcken as the Gothia Cup – the inability to hold all the way. Forced to start without one of the series’ most creative players, injured Daleho Irandust.
Storm winds blew from the Östgötland plains over Norrköping and IFK when the chairman Peter Hunt disappeared. For new coach Rikard Norling, storms are like a tea break. He has a sylvan squad, perhaps the best offensive in the series, but when the transfer window opens, many offensive pieces can blow away in new storms.
Read more chronicles by Johan Esk: