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EURO 2012 CHAMPIONSHIPS

FOOTBALL

Match preview: sizing up Sweden versus Ukraine

The Local's Joe Lynskey takes a look at what Sweden can expect as they kick off their Euro 2012 Group in Kiev against co-hosts Ukraine on Monday night.

Match preview: sizing up Sweden versus Ukraine

Sweden will have to overcome home advantage as they kick-off their Euro 2012 campaign in Kiev against a Ukrainian side that will doubtless be backed by a raucous and expectant set of supporters.

The co-hosts are a side missing their experienced goalkeeper Olexandr Shovkovsky, as well as key defender Dmytro Chygrynskiy.

Sweden will feel there will be plenty of areas for them to exploit, particularly if they can deal with the threat posed by Ukraine’s veteran talisman, Andriy Shevchenko.

The 35-year old was once the most feared striker in Europe, with Chelsea paying €43 million for him in 2006. However, after Shevchenko suffered several back injuries this season, Swedish defenders Olaf Mellberg and Andreas Granqvist will feel more confident of keeping the former Milan star quiet.

The Local took to Medborgarplatsen to ask Stockholmers about Sweden’s hopes for Euro 2012

With automatic qualification to the tournament assured for the co-hosts, Ukraine have prepared for the tournament with a series of friendly games over the last year with generally disappointing results, including a 4-1 loss to France in Kiev.

Sweden have faced their opponents only 3 times previously, with their first meeting in 2008. They will certainly take confidence, however, from the 1-0 win they achieved in Kiev last August.

A 90th minute goal from Tobias Hysen was enough to give Sweden the win in the friendly game.

Monday night’s game promises to be a much more competitive and tense affair, however, with both teams perhaps seeing this as their most winnable fixture in the group stage, compared with games against France and England to come for both.

Sweden may feel that if they can deal with the atmosphere of the capacity home crowd, they will be able to deal with their opponents on the pitch.

A good result is crucial, however, if Erik Hamren’s men are to take some momentum into the rest of the tournament.

Time: Monday, June 11th, 8.45pm CET

Place: Kiev, Ukraine

Broadcast: SVT 1 (in Sweden)

Joe Lynskey

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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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