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FOOTBALL

Injured Ibrahimovic hungry for Budapest start

Swedish international striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has said he remains optimistic about battling through a knee injury to line out for his country in a crucial World Cup qualifier in Budapest on Saturday.

“I’m hoping to play,” he told the Swedish press after training.

Although he could not train normally because of pain following a knock he received to his knee while playing for his club Barcelona, Ibrahimovic joined the national side in training.

He said he “still felt a little” pain but that “every day it gets better”.

Sweden are currently fourth in Group A with nine points. They travel to second-placed Hungary on Saturday for their return leg match after winning the home leg 2-1.

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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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