Monday, June 2, 2008

UEFA Euro 2008: Sweden Team Preview

The squad: The Swedes are making their third straight Euro appearance after advancing to the quarterfinals in 2004. Their best showing was 1992, when they reached the semifinals on home soil. Sweden finished two points behind Spain to earn second in Group F qualifying.

The players: While his name hardly sounds Swedish, Inter Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the star of the national side. Ibrahimovic, who has Bosnian roots, scored a team-high 17 league goals as Inter captured the scudetto for the third straight season. He'll be joined up front by Marcus Allback, who led the side in scoring during qualifying. The Swedish defense was unusually generous in the qualifying stages, so the focus will be on Manchester City goaltender Andreas Isaksson.

The schedule: vs. Greece (6/10); vs. Spain (6/14); vs. Russia (6/18)

The prediction: While the Swedes are certainly capable of reaching the knockout round, the thinking here is that Greece will edge them out for second place in the group.

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