Last year a young Göteborg side surprised many by clinching the title ahead of equally eyebrow-raising runners-up Kalmar FF. The triumph ended an eleven-year wait for IFK, who won four titles in a row between 1993 and 1996 and though long-serving goalkeeper Bengt Andersson may have retired, Danish custodian Kim Christensen has arrived from FC Nordsjælland, along with AIK Solna defender Niclas Carlsson and former IF Elfsborg forward Daniel Alexandersson.
They will need to settle quickly if Göteborg are to hold off a challenge likely led by Kalmar, Djurgårdens IF FF, Elfsborg and Hammarby. Kalmar have been on the rise since their promotion in 2003 but last season was their real breakthrough as they missed out on the final day by a point and won the Swedish Cup for the first time in 20 years, gaining revenge on IFK with a 3-0 victory. Not only have they retained the services of Brazilian star César Santin, they have made up for the €5m mid-season departure of Ari to AZ Alkmaar by signing Marcel Sacramento and Abiola Dauda and won the recent La Manga Cup, beating Brøndby IF 2-0 in the final.
Third last year, Djurgården have cleared out a number of fringe players, and coach Siggi Jonsson is keen to bring in new faces. Elfsborg, champions in 2006, have been busier in the transfer market, however, with the arrival of Teddy Lucic to replace Denmark-bound Fredrik Björck. Hammarby, meanwhile, have sought to solve their goalkeeping problems with the capture of Swedish international Rami Shaaban from Fredrikstad FK and they are hoping that Argentinian midfielder Claudio Dadomo will prove a useful substitute for Sebastian Egurén, now on loan at Villarreal CF.
AIK Solna, Malmö FF and Helsingborgs IF are looking to bounce back from disappointing 2007 campaigns. AIK have made six signings including former Manchester United FC winger Bojan Dordić and Argentinian midfielder Jorge Alberto Ortiz. Malmö have a new coach in former international Roland Nilsson, fresh from his success at GAIS Göteborg, while Helsingborg are currently under the caretaker command of Bosse Nilsson. GAIS, Halmstads BK and newly-promoted IFK Norrköping are all tipped to stay clear of relegation but GIF Sundsvall and Ljungskile SK – the latter from a town of just 3,500 people – could struggle, along with Örebro SK and Trelleborgs FF.
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