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Deschamps: Sweden are less competitve without Ibrahimovic

Sweden pose less of a threat to France in World Cup qualifying following the retirement of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, according to Didier Deschamps.

Ibrahimovic brought the curtain down on his international career after Euro 2016 when Sweden were eliminated with just one point from their three group matches.

While the 35-year-old turned his attention to club football with Manchester United, Sweden have started life without him by taking seven points from three games in Group A.

They sit tied with France at the top of the table ahead of their meeting in Paris on Friday, but Deschamps is confident France can handle Sweden, with each of their five goals having been scored by different players so far.

“Sweden are different,” he told a news conference.

“We know the importance he has in all the teams he plays for, including Sweden where he was very effective. He changes their game.

“When you have a player like Zlatan, the team plays for him. At times, he receives balls that he should not receive. Even if they have a good collective, they always rely on him.

“There are other players, other attackers who are there, they have quality. But on paper, in fact, I think Sweden with Zlatan are more competitive.”

Thu 10 Nov, 2016
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