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Mattias Svanberg Bologna Malmo Tactical Analysis

Mattias Svanberg

After a few seasons marauding near the bottom of Serie A, Bologna look like they are pushing to climb up the table this season. The summer has seen Filippo Inzaghi come in as manager and with an encouraging start to his managerial career, they’ll hope he can keep the momentum that is currently behind him.

That momentum comes after his short spell at AC Milan. In 2016 he took charge of Venezia who he helped gain promotion to Serie B. Last season in Serie B, he guided them to a 5th place finish but lost out on promotion in the play-offs.

Inzaghi arrives at Bologna favouring a 3-5-2 formation, something he used for 48% of last season. 5-3-2 was his next most used formation 31% of the time. This offers Inzaghi two options when looking at his fellow newcomer, Mattias Svanberg.

Coming from Malmo in the summer, Svanberg is a versatile player who can play in midfield and on the wings. At just 19 Svanberg stands at 6”1’ and despite being used on the wing a lot for Malmo, it’d be more likely that he is used in central midfield in Inzaghi’s 3-5-2 this season. Either way, here’s what he brings to the side.


In the Swedish Allsvenkan, Svanberg has shown that he has the potential to make it in a league like the Serie A. One of the big reasons for this is his technical ability which is best shown when he is in wider areas or is on a set piece.

At a young age he had a respectable return of five goals and ten assists in 36 Allsvenkan games but that must improve if he is to play higher up the pitch in the future. Here’s an example of his technical ability:

Mattias Svanberg Bologna Malmo Tactical Analysis
At Bologna, playing a better standard of football, this may allow him to flourish in this area as he becomes more critical in his decision making.


That critical decision making will have to improve quickly as often in Allsvenkan, despite showing good signs at first, he can become easy to figure out. A player who is quite skilful with the ball at his feet, he can escape the first challenge well but at 6”1’ he isn’t the quickest of the mark which can give defenders the edge.

Mattias Svanberg Bologna Malmo Tactical Analysis
We see Svanberg’s flair come out as he rolls the ball inside before trying to advance into the highlighted space.
Mattias Svanberg Bologna Malmo Tactical Analysis
Not quick enough to make the burst, he’s easily tracked by the defender who wins the ball well.

Unfortunately for Svanberg, him getting beaten by defenders wasn’t uncommon last season but as a young man that could all change as he now has the chance to develop in one of Europe’s best leagues.

Svanberg In Midfield

Again, in midfield, Svanberg has a very good base to build from but isn’t quite polished yet. For Malmo, he played as a central midfielder 13 times in 2018 so he isn’t completely foreign to the position that his size seems to lend itself to. Here’s an example of where Svanberg is currently at as a midfielder:

Mattias Svanberg Bologna Malmo Tactical Analysis
Out of possession, he reads the play well and is able to shuffle across and intercept the pass easily. A component of his game that could prove to be a key.
Mattias Svanberg Bologna Malmo Tactical Analysis
However, once on the ball he seems to rush things. Rather than recognise the run of his teammate he quickly plays the ball forward and the pass goes astray.

This was quite a common occurrence with Svanberg for Malmo. He’d often impress by winning and keeping the ball but his decision making wasn’t great. Mostly this was with the timing and placement of his passes. This should improve, however, as he becomes accustomed to playing with less time on the ball.


Svanberg is clearly a good talent earning a move to Serie A at 19 and being part of the Sweden Under 21’s setup. However, what’s also clear is that he has a lot he can develop in his game from what we’ve seen above.

This is something that I believe can happen very quickly if he is given games in midfield. As you can see below, although he may rush himself in certain situations, he has a good appetite for what is needed in the middle of the park.

Mattias Svanberg Bologna Malmo Tactical Analysis

Although he is promising, it doesn’t look like Svanberg will slot straight into Filippo Inzaghi’s Bologna side. He hasn’t featured much this pre-season as a result of a minor hip problem which limited him to just two substitute appearances.

Coming away from his comfort zone, this is where we’ll see what Svanberg is really about. He may not be a regular when the season starts but should he impress when called upon, don’t be surprised if he starts a lot of games throughout the season. If things go well he could help Bologna become more solid in the midfield but we’ll just have to wait and see how Inzaghi wishes to use him.