This time around we will be looking at Allsvenskan midfielders. The game has provided us with tons of alternatives around and above the 8.5 price point, whereas cheap enablers are scarce. On beforehand, finding the Ryan Fraser of Allsvenskan seems key as there is a smorgasbord of premiums to choose from (smorgasbord – one of few English words originating from Swedish). Let’s grab a bite!
Anders Christiansen (10.0) is the most expensive midfielder in the game and it is easy to understand why: the Allsvenskan MVP of 2017 rejoined the powerhouse in the summer and managed 2 goals and 8 assists in the second half of the season. Only three players provided more assists than Christiansen over the course of last season despite the Dane’s late arrival. Moreover, it is not just the light blue color of the shirts that remind Malmö of Manchester City but also their heavily backing from bookies to become champions and – more importantly for fantasy managers – the fear for rotation. Christiansen is probably the most nailed attacking player from Malmö and thereby justifies a premium.
Sören Rieks (9.5) is however making claims as the Malmö midfielder of choice with 10 goals and 5 assists last season, making him the second highest scoring midfielder last year beaten only by current team mate Romain Gall (8.5). While the latter at 8.5 might seem like a steal, one should be aware of the fact that most of those points came during the first half of the season while playing for GIF Sundsvall. Gall is far from guaranteed game time and should probably be considered “wait and see” for now.
The last few years have mainly been a battle between Malmö and last year’s champions AIK. The Stockholm based club has not missed silverware since 2010 and is a prime source for fantasy points. So who are the best picks from AIK? Well, there is actually only one real candidate in the 3-man midfield: former Premier League set piece specialist Sebastian Larsson (9.0). The now 33 year old made his Allsvenskan debut as late as last summer, but racked up 2 goals (including a 96th minute free kick stunner against Malmö in the season closing) and 5 assists in 12 games.
In Sweden, the cup is played prior to the season start and it is BK Häcken who has looked the most dangerous, taking them all the way to a surprising final. Häcken is known for a fluid, free-scoring attack and scored the most goals of all teams last season – suitable for anyone looking for fantasy prospects. Last year’s top scorer from the Häcken midfield, Daleho Irandust (9.5) is struggling with an injury and “the Iraqi Cristiano Ronaldo” Ahmed Yasin (8.5) looks the most likely to feature out wide in the 4-3-3 formation together with Paulinho and Jeremejeff. Mervan Celik (7.0) is however trying his best to sneak into the front three, although last year’s golden boot winner Paulinho is occupying Celik’s favorite slot to the left. It seems more likely Celik might get game time at the expense of Yasin to the right so keep an eye on who starts, although Yasin is probably in the driver’s seat at the moment.
From last year’s runner up Norrköping, the most attractive picks are probably Thorarinson (8.5) and Thern (9.0). Both finished as some of the game’s most high scoring midfielders last season (Thorarinson third and Thern eighth) mainly due to their ability to gather bonus points. Although only scoring 2 goals and providing 6 assists last season, Thorarinson was fourth for big chances created, second for key passes and fourth for ball recoveries. The less risk averse will however start with the big name signing at Norrköping: Sead Haksabanovic (9.0). The West Ham loanee is expected to make a big case for inclusion in our fantasy squads and Norrköping made a statement by securing his signature ahead of AIK. It was a while since his breakthrough as a teenager in Halmstad though, and it remains to be seen how the minimum game time during the last couple of seasons has affected his appeal as a fantasy prospect.
Stockholm rivals Hammarby and Djurgården will do their utmost to become the dominant force in the capital and put AIK behind them. For Djurgården, much of that hope will be related to how well new signing Astrit Ajdarevic (9.0) adapts to the team. The former AEK Athens player is well-known for his left-foot and will most likely provide both goals and assists from open play and his set-piece duties. In Hammarby, the main midfield names are Tankovic (8.5), Kacaniclic (8.5) and the less expensive Bojanic (7.0). The southern parts of Stockholm has high expectations for the former Sweden international Kakaniclic to make a real impact and recreate the sort of form that made him break into the Fulham eleven on 84 occasions between 2012 and 2016. Tankovic scored an impressive 7 goals from his midfield position whereas Bojanic was a main reason Helsingborg managed to gain promotion from Superettan last season.
Interesting names from some of the lesser known teams are for example Batanero (8.5) and Eddari (7.0) from Sundsvall. The Sundsvall team surprised many with their passing game and ability to keep the ball within the team last season. The Spanish midfield maestro Batanero was the main reason for that, and also chipped in with 5 goals, 6 assists and several bonus points
The Östersund team that beat Arsenal at the Emirates last season has kept plenty of high-scoring player such as Aiesh (9.5) and Edwards (9.0). Aiesh provided an impressive 14 assists last season, 5 more than any other player. However, the one drawing the attention is the new kid on the block Ravel Morrison (8.0). Once crowned as the next big thing by Sir Alex Ferguson, the career unfortunately did not fold out as planned. In a club known for turning careers around, we are eager to see what Morrison can do!
For the one on a budget, there are unfortunately limited options to choose from that look appealing. Perhaps because of that, the most popular midfielder in the game is actually 4.0 priced Gustav Jarl, despite never having played Allsvenskan football. He looks pretty certain to start in the promoted team AFC Eskilstuna and is offering a cheap route as a fifth midfielder.
Coming in at 6.0 is Ciercoles of Sundsvall who had the second most ball recoveries of all midfielders last season in addition to two assists. Both Bachirou (6.0) and Lewicki (6.0) offers a route into the Malmö attack, but one should not expect too much from the pair. Stefan Ishizaki (6.5) of Elfsborg, Nordin Gerzic (6.5) playing for Örebro and Robert Åhman-Persson (5.0) from Sirius are experienced Allsvenskan players who will likely chip in with the odd goal and assist. Alexander Faltsetas (6.5) scored 4 goals last season for Häcken and is expected to start as a bit more defensive alternative in the team that scored the most goals of all last season.
All in all, there are a lot of interesting options to pick from in the more expensive bracket so try to find the extra funds to invest there!
How is your midfield looking?