Swedish star Freddie Lindgren admits the pressure will be on a stellar Lublin side as the Polish club bids to defend the PGE Ekstraliga title following a winter transfer spree.

Lublin won the first top-flight championship in their history in 2022 and made a statement of their intent during the off-season by prising triple world champion Bartosz Zmarzlik away from Gorzow to lead their title defence.

The Pole isn’t their only blockbuster signing as Lindgren joins Lublin from Czestochowa, while Aussie ace Jack Holder makes the move from Torun, where he has raced his entire Polish career to date.

With the Speedway GP trio teaming up with former world No.2 Jaroslaw Hampel, Polish international Dominik Kubera and SGP2 champion Mateusz Cierniak, the champions are being tipped among the 2023 title favourites.

While many riders play down the weight of expectation on a team’s shoulders, Lindgren offered a refreshingly frank and honest appraisal of the pressure facing this highly-rated Lublin line-up.

“There will be loads of pressure!” he enthused. “We are the defending champions and have signed the world champion from their country. It’s a big move and it means they want to win again. The pressure is going to be on for us to win again.

“There are a lot of strong teams in the Ekstraliga, but I definitely feel that on paper we look one of the strongest. Having that on paper is one thing; you need to put it down on the track. It’s not going to happen by itself. We have to work hard and work together to win.”

Lindgren has been spending some time with the group in recent weeks, getting to know everyone following his transfer from Czestochowa.

He said: “We had one week in Calpe, Spain at a cycling camp together. Recently we have been in Croatia practising. I didn’t know all the guys well before, but I am starting to get to know them.

“For me it was nice to get a few laps in, have a couple of days of riding with them and get my body back to riding speedway as we get ready to start racing.”