Elmander to start for Sweden against England

Striker Johan Elmander will return to Sweden’s starting lineup

against England at the European Championship on Friday, one of

three changes from the team’s opening loss against Ukraine.

Just as it did ahead of the Ukraine match, the Swedish

federation announced the linup on its website about nine hours

before kickoff. Most teams at the tournament have waited until the

deadline of one hour before the start of the match to announce

their formations.

Elmander only played the last 20 minutes against Ukraine, having

just recovered from a right foot fracture. He will replace Markus

Rosenberg up front against England.

”Johan still feels a bit of pain in some situations, but he

says he can handle it,” assistant coach Marcus Allback said. ”It

shouldn’t be a problem.”

Coach Erik Hamren also shuffled his midfield and will bring on

veteran Anders Svensson to partner Kim Kallstrom in the middle,

with Rasmus Elm moving out to the left wing and Ola Toivonen

dropped to the bench.

In defense, Jonas Olsson will play center back next to Olof

Mellberg, with Andreas Granqvist moved out to right back in place

of Mikael Lustig.

Lustig was partly at fault for Andriy Shevchenko’s second goal

in Ukraine’s 2-1 win as he failed to stop the striker’s header from

going in at the near post. But Allback said the Celtic defender was

dropped because of a hip problem.

Olsson played for England coach Roy Hodgson at West Bromwich


Sweden’s play lacked initiative and fluency in the first half

against Ukraine, and Allback said he hopes Svensson will bring more

balance to the midfield.

”The combination of Anders and Kim has worked well previously,

and together they have immense experience,” he said. ”And Anders

has played in England before so I hope he can show that he knows

their game.”


Andreas Isaksson, Andreas Granqvist, Olof Mellberg, Jonas

Olsson, Martin Olsson, Anders Svensson, Kim Kallstrom, Sebastian

Larsson, Rasmus Elm, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Johan Elmander.