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Unbeaten Sweden take on France in World Cup qualifier

Published fredag 11 november 2016 kl 12.01
Sweden's footballers training at the Stade de France.
The team trained at the Stade de France ahead of the match. Credit: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Sweden’s men’s football team face their biggest test since Zlatan Ibrahimovic retired from international football against France on Friday night.

The team are undefeated in World Cup qualifying so far and currently top Group A with two wins and a draw from their first three matches under new manager Janne Andersson.

It’s a new era for the team without talisman Ibrahimovic, who retired from international football in the summer following Sweden’s disappointing performance at the European Championships.

France boasts a star-studded lineup and enter the game as favourites, but their coach Didier Deschamps is taking nothing for granted. He said Sweden without Ibrahimovic will play more as a collective unit than focusing on one star player.

The teams are playing for the chance to qualify for the next World Cup in Russia in 2018.

The 8:45 p.m. match takes place at the Stade de France in Paris where, a year ago on Sunday, three suicide bombers were turned away from the stadium before blowing themselves up.

It is likely to be an emotional occasion as France remembers the 130 people who were killed in simultaneous attacks across Paris by members of the so-called Islamic State.

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