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Lagerbäck optimistic over Zlatan

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18:21 CEST+02:00
Sweden coach Lars Lagerbäck said Friday that star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic came through training unscathed and could be fit in time for Saturday's last 16 World Cup match-up with Germany.

Juventus marksman Ibrahimovic missed the 2-2 group draw with England due to a strained groin muscle but is back in training and showing no signs of struggling.

"Zlatan trained without any problems yesterday and if there are no problems in today's session it is possible he could play," Lagerbäck said at Friday's press conference.

Ibrahimovic has looked out of sorts so far but Sweden will want the enigmatic forward back as they look to shock hosts Germany.

"We are the underdogs. Germany has a great tradition at major competitions and they have a lot of variety in their game," Lagerbäck said.

"But we will try to defend well and if we do I think we can handle their attacking players.

"We have to play our game and stick to the basics if we are to succeed."

Sweden captain Olof Mellberg said his team could take heart from their second half display against England and must reproduce that against Germany.

"We finished well against England and hope we can recreate the second half form on Saturday," he said. "We also need to defend well."

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