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Scandinavians out to win

June 22, 2004 13:10 IST
The dark fears of Italy aside, Denmark and Sweden will not risk playing for anything less than victory when they meet in Tuesday's Euro 2004 Group C decider.

A high-scoring draw, 2-2 or more, would send both teams through, regardless of the result of Italy's game against Bulgaria but Italian suspicions of a convenient pact are groundless, according to the Scandinavian rivals.

"We will be playing for a result -- we will not do this in any kind of Italian way," Denmark coach Morten Olsen snapped as his side prepared for the game at the Bessa Stadium. "It's ridiculous."

Sweden's defender Teddy Lucic will miss the matchDenmark need a win or the sort of draw the Italians are worrying about to make certain of a place in the quarter-finals.

Sweden need to avoid defeat to be sure of going through but are not going to be negative after playing such vibrant football in their 5-0 win over Bulgaria and coming back to snatch a late 1-1 draw with Italy.

"It will be a very tough game -- we all know what's at stake," said midfielder Fredrik Ljungberg. "If it got to 2-2, and that's a good result for both of us, we would still go for the third goal and try to win."

Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrik Larsson have formed one of the sharpest strike partnerships at the tournament and if they maintain their form Denmark could struggle.

"Ibrahimovic has matured a lot and developed on all levels," Sweden's joint coach Lars Lagerback said. "I think he can be absolutely one of the best talents in the world. He can set the limits himself."

Sweden midfielder Mikael Nilsson is likely to continue as a makeshift centre-back in place of the injured Teddy Lucic.

Tobias Linderoth will be missing from midfield through suspension and Kim Kallstrom, outstanding as a substitute against Italy, should start.

Denmark winger Jesper Gronkjaer could replace the injured Dennis Rommedahl after coming on a substitute to score in the 2-0 victory over Bulgaria. He missed the team's opening 0-0 draw with Italy following the death of his mother.

Probable teams:

Denmark: (4-3-3) 1-Thomas Sorensen; 6-Thomas Helveg, 4-Martin Laursen, 3-Rene Henriksen, 5-Niclas Jensen; 7-Thomas Gravesen, 15-Daniel Jensen, 8-Jesper Gronkjaer; 11-Ebbe Sand, 9-Jon Dahl Tomasson, 10-Martin Joergensen

Sweden: (4-4-2) 1-Andreas Isaksson; 7-Mikael Nilsson, 3-Olof Mellberg, 15-Andreas Jakobsson, 5-Erik Edman; 21-Christian Wilhelmsson, 16-Kim Kallstrom, 8-Anders Svensson, 9-Fredrik Ljungberg; 10-Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 11-Henrik Larsson

Referee: Markus Merk (Germany)

Linesmen: Christian Schraer (Germany), Jan-Hendrik Salver (Germany).

Source:
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