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FOOTBALL

Alex Ferguson questions need for Sweden friendly

Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson has called into question the need for England to play a friendly game in Sweden next week.

Alex Ferguson questions need for Sweden friendly

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has already expressed concern about England coach Roy Hodgson’s decision to call up Gunners midfielder Jack Wilshere, who only recently returned from a 17-month injury lay-off.

Ferguson, who has four players in the England squad, says he can sympathise with the Frenchman.

“Friendly games at this time of year don’t mean a thing to me,” he said.

“It won’t be a full squad anyway because players will drop out. I can understand where Arsene is coming from with that (Wilshere complaint).

“When you are out for a long period and play your first game, the adrenaline helps you.

“But there is a physical reaction a few days later. You never know after someone has been out for so long.”

Wilshere himself has admitted that his international recall may have arrived “too soon”. The 20-year-old Arsenal playmaker has only recently returned to action following more than a year out of the game.

The match has been arranged as part of the celebrations to inaugurate the new Swedish national football stadium – the Friends Arena – in Stockholm.

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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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