Since the last update, the title race between Malmö and Helsingborg remains the same, although it has taken some unpredictable turns. In early October, Helsingborg lost their first home game of the season to Gais, while Malmö increased their goal difference with a 3-0 thumping of Trelleborg. However a fortnight later, after the international break, Helsingborg became the first team all season to beat Elfsborg in Borås, winning 1-3. Meanwhile Malmö lost their first home game of the season, going down to Kalmar 0-1. Both sides recorded healthy wins this weekend, meaning the title race will go down to the last weekend of the season. As it stands both sides are level on points but Malmö’s goal difference is better by 8 goals. Helsingborg must play Halmstad away and Kalmar at home. Malmö have BP away and Mjällby at home. Keep November 7th free because the last game of the season is going to be a corker!
Swedish football also made a rare appearance in the British media last week, although unfortunately for the wrong reasons. An article on AIK’s recent hooligan problem featured on the Guardian’s football website. Like many of the people who posted comments after the article, I think Sweden’s supposed ‘problem’ has been hugely exaggerated…but I suppose when the quality of football isn’t worth writing about you’ve got to find something else to write about instead. Having said that, within days of the article’s publication AIK away fans were accused of physically threatening Halmstad players, suggesting they’re not too fussed about adverse publicity abroad.
AIK have spent of the season in the relegation zone, but by winning their last two games, they have managed to pull themselves free. Which is more than can be said for BP who look almost certain to go down. Gelfe’s 1-0 win over fellow struggles Gais last Sunday has given them slim hope but with games against Djurgården and IFK Göteborg, they’ll struggle to get the points to pull themselves up. Åtvidaberg, AIK, Halmstad and Gais will all be desperately trying to salvage any point they can in the next two games to avoid the relegation play off.
Regardless of who ends up going down, we at least now know who will be replacing them with the Superettan season concluding last weekend. Syrianska, the club started by Syriac immigrants in Södertälje back in 1977, won the competition and will be playing in the Allsvenskan for the first time in their short history. Due to their Syriac roots, they’ve built up a cult following that extends all over the world, and no doubt their fans will add some much-needed colour to the top division next season.
IFK Norrköping, who have been on top most of the season, will also be promoted. Unlike Syrianska they have a long history in the Allsvenskan, and played their as recently as 2008. GIF Sundsvall will get the chance to win promotion through a play-off against the third last team in the Allsvenskan.