Sundsvall could have gotten an easier premiere but unfortunately for them, it will be Malmo who are coming to town. It is not only the normal Malmo who are visiting, but Sundsvall will face the strongest team Sweden has seen for a very long time, and it could be described pretty much as a new era. Sundsvall are newcomers to Allsvenskan and obviously have one goal on their mind – survival.
Malmo will try to top their extraordinary season in 2014/2015 when their won the league and qualified for Champions League, which was the first time in close to 20 years for a Swedish team to accomplish. The success led to many players leaving the club as expected, but with the money coming in from Champions League, the Malmo board have strenghtened the team with quality players such as midfielder Wolff Eikrem and Jo Inge Berget – both from Cardiff. Also Peruvian wing defender Yoshimar Yotun arrived to replace Ricardinho in the pre season. Oscar Lewicki was signed from BK Hacken, and is one of the most promising defensive midfielders in the country. Rasmus Bengtsson arrived from Twente and is a strong defender in his prime age. Overall, quality signings which has also put a lot of pressure to perform right away.
The pre season has been good for Malmo, who have gotten all the pieces together surprisingly quick. They keep their main mentality which is keeping possession, create a lot of chances with passes but they have added goal scoring from the midfielders this year and look to be even more dangerous than last year. Despite the long trip up north to Sundsvall, on an artificial turf – the favorite stamp is something they must deal with instantly. The coach Age Hareide is a tactical genius and knows how to get the greasy victories when needed. Surely, it is a opening game – all teams that are facing Malmo will be extra motivated to stop them, but it remains to see if they have the tools for it. For the visitors Malmo, only reserve winger Simon Kroon (19/0) is absent as a definite scratch.
Sundsvall otherwise is a solid home team on their artificial turf. Newcomers tend to surprise in the beginning, as we saw Hammarby do the same in their opening round. Therefore, their qualities should not be underestimated. The team itself have no real profilic players, but they have a dangerous attacking duo in Eklund and Dibba who tore apart defenses in Superettan. The mentality will need to be defensive minded and dealt with to perfection in order to steal a point from Malmo here. It would be unfair to judge Sundsvall after this match, because it is the most difficult game of the year for them. The nerves will play their part, their squad is not deep enough to compete over 90 minutes and if they do – we have to applause them. Newcomers tend to be really motivated in the first match but looking at the squads and pre seasons, this looks very one sided. For the hosts, central back Marcus Danielsson (28/1) and winger Daniel Sliper (21/4) is out, and most likely also left back Dennis Olsson (14/0).
On paper this is very one sided, but if Malmo continues like they have done during pre season this can get ugly if they are in the mood for 4-0 or 5-0. However, opening game of a new season is not really a safe bet, but a win is very likely or else Malmo will receive dark headlines the next day and an immediate flop stamp. Rarely have Sweden seen such an offensive team – with that being said, there is enough value to back the -1 AH for Malmo against the newcomers who will — with all due respect – have to sweat their hearts out for their points here.
Hämtat från: BetPicks