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WORLD CUP

‘It is easier to score against Brazil than against Sweden’: Eriksson

Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has tipped Gareth Southgate's team to beat Colombia in the World Cup last 16 but said his native Sweden would be tough opponents if they meet in the quarter-finals.

'It is easier to score against Brazil than against Sweden': Eriksson
Sweden's midfielder Viktor Claesson (2L) and Mexico's defender Edson Alvarez (2R) vie for the ball during their World Cup match last week. Photo: HECTOR RETAMAL / AFP
Eriksson — who coached England to two successive World Cup quarter-finals, in 2002 and 2006 — said he was impressed with the job Southgate is doing with his young team in Russia.
 
England face Colombia on Tuesday in Moscow after finishing second in their group behind Belgium, while the Swedes play Switzerland in Saint Petersburg earlier the same day.
 
Eriksson believes Sweden, who topped Group F after beating Mexico in their final match, may not be playing scintillating football but says they are tough to score against. 
 
“When you come down to the last-16, it is always difficult, and it should be difficult,” Eriksson told the BBC on Sunday. “I think England will beat Colombia, then I hope they will meet Sweden.
 
“I know that everyone wants to avoid Brazil, and maybe rightly, but I think it is easier to score against Brazil than against Sweden. Sweden are not playing the best football in the world, but to score against them is very difficult.”
 
Eriksson said not too much should be read into England's 1-0 defeat to Belgium in a group match that saw both managers make multiple changes.
 
“It was the second team of England and the second team of Belgium. It is different when you change five, six and seven players,” he said.
 
“I think both managers did well. When you have the chance in a long, hard tournament to rest players, you should do that.
 
“It is a hungry England team. They seem to go out without any fears at all, and that is good. They enjoy their football and they play without the fear of losing. The pressure is not there too much.”
 
Sweden's World Cup last 16 clash with Switzerland kicks off at 4pm on July 3rd.

FOOTBALL

Nordic countries to launch joint bid to host 2027 World Cup

Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland want to jointly host the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2027.

Nordic countries to launch joint bid to host 2027 World Cup
Sweden players during this year's World Cup in France. Photo: Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

The five Nordic nations want to share hosting duties for the 2027 edition of the World Cup finals and are to present the idea to the Nordic Council at a meeting in Stockholm on Tuesday, Danish football association DBU has confirmed.

FIFA is already positively disposed to joint bids for future finals tournaments, which has lent encouragement to the Nordic project, according to DBU's chairman Jesper Møller.

“We can see that support for women's football is here to stay, most recently at the (2019) World Cup in France, where matches were played in front of full stadiums and television viewers' interest was huge,” Møller said.

“A joint Nordic World Cup would not only ensure a fantastic experience for many football fans but will also strengthen important Nordic partnerships and community, and hopefully inspire many football-keen women and girls,” he continued.

“That's why support from the Nordic Council is important,” he added.

The Nordic Council (Nordisk Råd) is the official body for inter-parliamentary co-operation among the five Nordic countries and three territories of the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and the Åland Islands.

DBU is also looking into the possibility of hosting the 2025 European Championships in Denmark.

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