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Sports digest: Elfsborg tipped to retain title

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12:29 CEST+02:00

Sweden's loss was Northern Ireland's gain in Wednesday's Euro qualifier. Lars Lagerbäck had warned his side to watch out for a certain David Healy but the Leeds striker managed to add to an already impressive tally in qualifying with two more goals at Windsor Park.

The Swedish fans left the ground to the strains of "You can sing your Abba..."

This weekend sees the beginning of the Swedish football season. Allsvenskan gets underway with Elfsborg, aided by new signing James Keene, hoping to retain their title.

Bookmaker Ladbrokes predicts that the Borås team will fight off the opposition for another successful season. The new boys from Bromma are considered the least likely lads.

Here's how the betting stands ahead of the Good Friday kick-off:

Elfsborg - 3/1

AIK - 4/1

Djurgården - 5/1

Helsingborg - 5/1

Malmö FF - 5/1

Hammarby - 13/1

Kalmar - 13/1

Göteborg - 20/1

Halmstad - 30/1

Örebro - 75/1

GAIS - 100/1

Gefle - 150/1

Trelleborg - 250/1

Brommapojkarna - 500/1

Ice Hockey

Linköping saw off giants Färjestad with surprising ease to advance to the final off this season's Elitserien. Linköping won the semi-final by four games to one.

The second semi-final is delicately poised at 3-3 ahead of Monday evening's final match between Modo and HV71. Tempers flared when Modo won the sixth match 2-1. In the closing minute HV71's trainer Göran Sjöberg reacted to the unsportsmanlike behaviour of the Modo supporters by spraying them with water. But will he be spraying champagne on Monday.

Swimming

Sweden took three medals at the World Championships in Melbourne.

Therese Alshammar won Sweden's only gold in the 50-metres butterfly. She also claimed a silver medal in the 50-metres freestyle event. Alshammar will go to next summer's Olympics in Beijing confident of at least replicating her success in Australia.

Stefan Nystrand took Sweden's third medal with his bronze finish in the 50-metres freestyle.

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