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EURO 2012 CHAMPIONSHIPS

FOOTBALL

Ukraine ‘favourites’ for opening win: Hamrén

Sweden coach Erik Hamrén on Thursday said that their first Euro 2012 opponents Ukraine are favourites to win, given their home advantage.

Ukraine 'favourites' for opening win: Hamrén

“We’ve played Ukraine three times in the last few years and we’ve won one, lost one and drawn the other. There’s not much between the two sides,” he told a news conference in Kozin, some 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the capital, Kiev.

The Swedish team arrived in the country on Wednesday, after a slight delay in landing due to a thunderstorm over the capital. They will be having their first training session on the Dynamo Kiev home ground on Thursday, and will face home team Ukraine on Monday 11th of June.

“They’ve got the support of the home country. That’s the reason why they’re obviously favourites,” for the Group D opener on Monday in Kiev, Hamrén added, noting that few host countries of major championships lose their first match.

Sweden will also play France and England in the group, with the Scandinavians coming into the tournament on a high after a 3-2 friendly win against Iceland and a 2-1 victory over Serbia.

Hamrén urged caution, however.

“When the tournament starts, it’s a different story. But good preparation and good results makes you feel good. We feel good… we’ve had a good start. I’ve no complaints,” he said during the press conference.

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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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