Swedes spurred on by chance of revenge

Sweden's footballers meet Northern Ireland this evening knowing that victory will be enough to assure them of a place in next year's European Championships.

Lars Lagerbäck’s side has only been beaten once during the qualifying campaign, a defeat that came at the hand’s of Wednesday’s opponents.

A David Healy double on a March evening in Belfast left the Swedes licking their wounds and keen to exact revenge on Nigel Worthington’s team in the return fixture.

Northern Ireland must win in Stockholm if they are to have any chance of playing in Switzerland and Austria next summer.

Having missed Saturday’s win over Liechtenstein, Sweden’s in-form striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is looking forward to the clash.

“It will be an interesting match. We have a lot of respect for Northern Ireland but we want revenge,” he told Svenska Dagbladet.

Though favourites to win the game and advance to the finals, Sweden know they have to halt the march of David Healy. With 12 goals in nine games, the Northern Ireland striker has already equalled Davor Suker’s record for a European qualifying campaign.

“David has been instrumental in everything we have achieved,” said goalkeeper Maik Taylor, according to the BBC.

“His scoring feats have been incredible, so hopefully he will do the same against Sweden.


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.