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FOOTBALL

Swedish football: The ultimate guide to the 2013 Allsvenskan

With play in Sweden's top football league set to kick off at the weekend, contributor Nic Townsend offers the lowdown on each team and their chances of taking home the 2013 Allsvenskan title.

Swedish football: The ultimate guide to the 2013 Allsvenskan

Throughout Europe it’s still the middle of football season yet the competition is practically over. Manchester United, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Celtic and Juventus, have all but clinched their respective titles. But fortunately for football fans, Sweden’s Allsvenskan, arguably the most open league in Europe, is kicking off this weekend.

After winning the Allsvenskan title last year, IF Elfsborg begins the new season as the clear favourite. They’ve certainly been the most consistent team over the past few years and on paper have the strongest squad.

That being said, it’s important to bear in mind that six different teams have won the league in the last six years, with pre-season favourites often failing to live up to expectations.

In fact it’s been a decade (Djurgården in 2003) since a team has managed defend their Allsvenskan title.

Unlike many of Europe’s other top leagues, no one team has the financial clout to dominate. There are no billionaires distorting the competition by playing real life fantasy football. As soon as a club reaches a certain level of success, they’re generally forced to sell their best players mid-season.

All these factors help keep the Allsvenskan competitive and unpredictable. Elfsborg might be the favourite, but both Malmö FF and AIK are not far behind.

Helsingborg, IFK Göteborg and most surprisingly of all, BK Häcken, also all have a very realistic chance of winning the league.

For a more detailed look at each team, their chances, as well as players to watch, click on the links below:

AIK

BK Häcken

Djurgården

Gefle IF

Halmstads BK

Helsingborg IF

IF Brommapojkarna

IF Elfsborg

IFK Göteborg

IFK Norrköping FK

Kalmar FF

Malmö FF

Mjällby AIF

Syrianska FC

Åtvidabergs FF

Östers IF

Nic Townsend

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FOOTBALL

Croatian player tests positive ahead of Sweden match

Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday, a day ahead of the country's Nations League match with Sweden, the Croatian football federation (HNS) said.

Croatian player tests positive ahead of Sweden match
Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic (left) tested positive for coronavirus on Friday. Photo: Miguel Medina / AFP
“Brozovic's Inter Milan and Swedish epidemiologists were informed about the positive test,” an HNS statement said.
   
The player's positive result came two days after defender Domagoj Vida was informed of a positive Covid-19 test after playing the first half of a friendly with Turkey in Istanbul.
   
Apart from Brozovic, 27, one staff member also tested positive.
   
They were both isolated from other members of the national team.
   
After Sweden, Croatia play another Nations League game against Portugal on Tuesday.
   
Croatia, runners-up at the 2018 World Cup, are third in their Nations League group which also includes France, the team that beat them to the World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal and Sweden.
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