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ZLATAN

Lagerbäck optimistic over Zlatan

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.”

IBRAHIMOVIC

Zlatan has been ‘cured’ of coronavirus: AC Milan

AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been given the all-clear to end his quarantine period and return to action after testing negative for coronavirus, the Serie A club announced on Friday.

Zlatan has been 'cured' of coronavirus: AC Milan
Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after scoring a goal in September. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP
Milan confirmed in a statement that the Swedish striker had “tested negative” twice in a row, as stipulated in the protocol to be able to lift the quarantine procedure.
   
Ibrahimovic, 39, sounded a more triumphal note on his social media: “You are cured! The health authority says the quarantine is over, you can go out!”, he wrote on Twitter.

The announcement comes a day after Milan said Ibrahimovic had tested positive a second time for Covid-19, putting in doubt his participation in the Milan derby on October 17.
 
   
Ibrahimovic first tested positive on September 24.
   
The derby remains in doubt with two other Milan players and five from Inter currently in self-quarantine.
   
In spite of his absence, Milan have made a decent start to the season, having climbed to second in Serie A after winning all three of their games and reaching the group stages of the Europa League.
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