Elmander to start for Sweden against England

Elmander to start for Sweden against England

Published Jun. 15, 2012 4:51 p.m. ET

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 Albion.

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.