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   22 May, 2002 | 1753 IST


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Beckham will lift England: Eriksson

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David Beckham will put on a great performance against Sweden if he recovers from injury in time for England's World Cup opener, manager Sven-Goran Eriksson predicted on Wednesday.

Eriksson believes the England skipper, who broke a bone in his foot last month, can lift his team when they take on the Swedes in group F at Saitama on June 2.

"He's the captain. I'm sure that if Beckham is fit for the Sweden game he will have a great game," Eriksson told a news conference.

"He has spirit and he transfers that to the team as well.

"He's one of the best midfielders in the world, maybe the best right-foot in the world... I hope that Beckham can play all three games and the rest of the tournament as well."

Beckham's right foot was responsible for booking England's place in the finals when he curled home an injury-time free-kick last October to seal a 2-2 qualifying draw with Greece at Old Trafford.

His corner kicks are also a dangerous threat and Eriksson had no doubts in identifying one area whether they are missing the Manchester United midfielder.

"Set pieces," said the manager. "(Danny) Murphy and (Owen) Hargreaves are very good. But they are not Beckham."

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