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FOOTBALL

Sports digest: Elfsborg tipped to retain title

Football

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.

FOOTBALL

Croatian player tests positive ahead of Sweden match

Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday, a day ahead of the country's Nations League match with Sweden, the Croatian football federation (HNS) said.

Croatian player tests positive ahead of Sweden match
Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic (left) tested positive for coronavirus on Friday. Photo: Miguel Medina / AFP
“Brozovic's Inter Milan and Swedish epidemiologists were informed about the positive test,” an HNS statement said.
   
The player's positive result came two days after defender Domagoj Vida was informed of a positive Covid-19 test after playing the first half of a friendly with Turkey in Istanbul.
   
Apart from Brozovic, 27, one staff member also tested positive.
   
They were both isolated from other members of the national team.
   
After Sweden, Croatia play another Nations League game against Portugal on Tuesday.
   
Croatia, runners-up at the 2018 World Cup, are third in their Nations League group which also includes France, the team that beat them to the World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal and Sweden.
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