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
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
Andreas Isaksson, Andreas Granqvist, Olof Mellberg, Jonas
Olsson, Martin Olsson, Anders Svensson, Kim Kallstrom, Sebastian
Larsson, Rasmus Elm, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Johan Elmander.