It’s busy times for Allsvenskan Fantasy managers with a midweek game week coming up just as we wrap up GW4. No less than 5 games will be played on Wednesday, so be aware of the early deadline (18.00 CET)!
It is also a game week that provides us with several interesting match ups; the predicted top 6 teams all go head to head as Malmö face Hammarby, AIK host Häcken and Djurgården travel to Norrköping. In this article, we’ll look in more depth into these games after a short summary of the weekend action.
GW 4 – the talking points
Jordan Larsson: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?
It was an eventful day for Celtic legend Henrik Larsson’s son Jordan Larsson (7.1). 2 goals seemed to delight his owners (many of whom trusted him with the armband) but a stupid second yellow for kicking the ball away meant an early bath for Larsson and a suspension in the upcoming GW. As it was two yellows, Larsson serves a one match ban and is expected to be back for the weekend, where his fine form (4 goals in 4) means Fantasy managers should maybe utilize the bench rather than shipping one of the most in-form strikers in the league. Despite Larsson’s red card, Norrköping managed to score a 4-3 stoppage time winner. Was this the spark needed to get the season going for the expected title contenders?
Premium strikers blanking…
Jordan Larsson’s striker partner Christoffer Nyman (9.8) left the field injured after not even half an hour. Linus Hallenius (10.6) was subbed around the 75th minute, also blanking and considered a doubt for GW5. Paulinho (12.1), who saved many game week scores last time out, left the outing with a blank. As did Antonsson (11.0), Rosenberg (10.0), Djurdjic (10.0), Goitom (9.9), Buya Turay (9.6), and Jeremejeff (9.6). To be fair, Kjartansson (10.0) scored for the second game in a row and Buya Turay has 3 in 4, but with injury doubts, some being dropped and others facing tricky fixtures – is it time to reconsider the premium strikers?
…So why not go budget?
Well, Benjamin Nygren (5.8) is making the justification of premiums even harder given the value he’s offering. Nygren has already seen a 0.3 price rise but is still yet to hit half of Paulinho’s price. Perhaps most importantly, he’s now the designated penalty taker and stepped up from the spot against Helsingborg. A goal, an assist and attacking bonus means the 17 year old is now the top scoring Fantasy Allsvenskan asset. Recent games have also seen the introduction of a proper striker partner in Lasse Vibe (8.5), who scored 1 and assisted 1 in the 3-0 win against Helsingborg. 3 away games in the next 4 causes some concern (particularly as the only home game is against AIK) but in this case form most likely beats fixtures.
AIK struggling – and losing!
As a matter of fact, the AIK home game might not be too tough for Nygren as previously thought. It was a rare sight at Behrn Arena: the reigning champions lost to last placed Örebro after a stoppage time winner, his second for the day, by Rogic (7.9). Having lost only 1 game in the previous 45 Allsvenskan games, few would have expected Axel Kjäll’s side to beat the black and yellows. A far from impressive start to the season causes headaches for those who have doubled or even tripled up on the AIK defence.
Djurgården – the real deal?
Finding themselves in the ice hockey finals, this could very well be Djurgården’s year in both of Sweden’s main sports. That is at least the talk on the town after an impressive display away to Häcken and DIF being three points clear at the top of the table. Last year’s big name signing Erik Berg (6.0) scored the only goal and is now the highest scoring defender with two clean sheets also added to his name. Witry (5.0) will miss the coming game weeks but should be seriously considered once he returns. In the meantime, both Berg and Danielsson (5.5) prove good alternatives, in addition to striker Buya Turay (9.6) who’s scored 3 in the opening 4 and Bärkroth (8.1) who have as many assists.
GW 5 – the match ups
Malmö – Hammarby
In this game, we see two teams that have struggled a bit in the season start but picked up three points by the weekend. Malmö has back-to-back wins and look back to their normal after a surprising defeat away to Sundsvall in GW2. Sören Rieks (9.4) scored the winner but it’s perhaps captain Markus Rosenberg (10.0) that has had the most impact – 1 point in the two games without him has been followed by 6 points since his introduction to the season.
Hammarby picked up a first win of the season against AFC Eskilstuna after two goals by Imad Khalili (6.9) and a goal for the second game straight by Kjartansson (10.0). A note for most of the bargain seeking fantasy managers: Odilon Kossounou (4.0) is way down in the pecking order and despite injuries to other center backs coach Billborn seems to look at any other option than playing him. If no other issues, try to replace him – possibly with team mate Sandberg (5.2) who’s kept last year’s pace of delivering crosses and key passes.
• Malmö look likely to win and to score more than once. If possible, bench Hammarby defenders
• A clean sheet could be on the cards for Malmö
• Malmö options are good captaincy options this week, if you trust them to start. Christiansen or Rosenberg should be the safest options
AIK – Häcken
As mentioned earlier, both AIK and Häcken suffered defeats this weekend and will look to bounce back into the title race. Häcken coach Andreas Alm lead AIK from 2011 to 2016 and knows his way around the team, as do Ahmed Yasin (8.5) who was part of the title winning side last year. They will both have more than just 3 points to play for.
Last year, an in-form Häcken side had lined up three pointers and were filled of confidence going to the national stadium – just to see Seb Larsson (9.0) put in a superb performance together with his colleagues and 3-0 on the score sheet already at half-time. AIK has historically brushed aside Häcken quite easily and seem to enjoy the spaces provided from the attacking mentality of the Gothenburg side. Henok Goitom (9.9) and Jack Lahne (7.0) are likely to remain their spots in the starting XI after Goitom getting a first start of the season against Örebro. Despite failing to get a goal, the Häcken attack with Paulinho, Jeremejeff (9.6), and Yasin is expected to remain unchanged and could very well take advantage of an AIK team still trying to find form.
• Both teams are likely to score and a draw would be far from surprising
• Play your premiums, but don’t captain them
Norrköping – Djurgården
Could the in-form Djurgården get another upset away to Norrköping? It doesn’t look too far-fetched given that Norrköping will miss both their strikers, Nyman and Larsson. Kalle Holmberg (8.3) replaced Nyman and did not disappoint however, getting a goal and an assist to his name. 4 goals is of course impressive, but conceding 3 against Falkenberg is more than the opposite. Thern (8.9), Thorarinson (8.5), and Fransson (8.0) all got assists and the midfield together with Sead Haksabanovic (8.9) need to step up given the shortage of strikers.
For Djurgården, Ring (7.0) missed the game against Häcken due to illness but is likely to regain his spot in the starting XI at the expense of Radetinac (6.3). On the other flank, Bärkroth (8.1) provided a third assist of the season and created two key chances in order to get 8 points. Tommy Vaiho (4.5) got the nod between the posts and also collected 8 points. The goalkeeper situation is one to keep an eye on, as the solid defence now might have a cheap route into. However, we probably want more evidence before making any bets on Vaiho who should still be considered second choice after Bratveit.
• This could be a tight, low-scoring game. Although Norrköping shipped 3 against Falkenberg, the 0-0 game against AIK is fresh in mind and Djurgården’s defence looks very solid
• A draw would be far from surprising
What are your predictions for the top games?
Are you going for options from other teams this game week considering that the top teams face each other?
Will you replace Larsson or sit tight?
Who will you give the armband to?