The pair have been mainstays of the Swedish defence in recent seasons with Mellberg, a strong, tough-tackling centre-back, now over the 50-cap mark for his country.
"He's a great defender, a leader and a player who always wants to win and that is the Swedish mentality," said Erik of Mellberg, whom he pipped to the 'Swedish Defender of the Year' Award last week.
"Sometimes we know we can't play nice football all the time but we definitely want to win every game. I'm like that as well.
"I wouldn't say we are close friends although Olof's a great person and we get along well."
Villa will be another new opponent for Erik but he knows what to expect. "They are strong, on a good run and very organised," he added. "We have great players as well so hopefully we can win."
Erik Edman faces his Swedish team mate Olof Mellberg tonight - describing the Villa captain as a leader and born winner.