Sunday, July 22, 2018

Sweden rule out Elmander, Elm

SoccerNews in European Championships, Ligue 1 18 Jun 2012


Sweden will be without Johan Elmander and Rasmus Elm for their final Euro 2012 Group D match against France on Tuesday.

Coach Erik Hamren has decided against taking any risks with Elmander given Sweden’s tournament is already over and the Galatasaray forward has only just returned from a foot injury.

AZ attacking midfielder Elm, meanwhile, has been laid low by a virus and will also not feature in Kiev.

“We have two absences,” Hamren told reporters at his pre-game press conference on Monday.

“Johan Elmander is not considered to play tomorrow (Tuesday) because his foot is not 100 per cent yet and, as it’s not a decisive game, I will not make the decision to put him on the pitch.

“It’s also a decision for him personally, I will respect that and the club he represents. They have been really great before the tournament lending us Elmander.

“Rasmus Elm is not feeling too good, and during the morning had a few problems with a strain in his leg.

“But other than that all the players are ready, they’re healthy, they feel good and they’re motivated.”

England are reportedly concerned about Hamren fielding a second-string line-up against qualification rivals France, but the 54-year-old believes that Roy Hodgson’s men should only worry about their game against Ukraine.

“Win yourselves,” he said.

“England must focus on themselves and we are going to focus on our game. We can’t do any more than that.

“We will do everything we can to win our game. We need to leave with a good performance and a good result.”

Speculation is rife that Olof Mellberg will call time on his international career after the tournament but Hamren refused to shed any light on whether he will start the centre-back against Les Bleus.

“I wouldn’t be too sure (about him retiring),” he said. “He said it’s his final tournament but I’m not making too much fuss about it. He might play.

“I spoke to Olof before the tournament and we will talk together about his situation again after the Euros. His contract is expiring with his club and as far as I know he doesn’t have a new contract yet.

“It all depends on his situation, depending on which club he’ll play with. We will see. He usually sticks by what he says. He has said that he will not be at any more finals, so he surely won’t.

“But that doesn’t mean it will be his last game for the national team. We will see what happens a few weeks after the Euros to see if he has had time to think.”


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