Football fever’s building up in Sweden ahead of this weekend’s match between Sweden and Spain at Euro 2008 on Saturday.
Both teams know each other well of course after playing each other twice in the qualifying stages for the competition and both coaches, Lars Lagerbäck and Luis Aragones of Spain have spoken of their mutual respect.
”Sweden are a very difficult side to play against,” Luis Aragones told reporters this week. ”They play at great pace on the counter-attack and have some excellent forwards. They are definitely a team to worry about.”
Opposite number Lars Lagerback expressed similar sentiments about the Spanish before the Group D game in Innsbruck.
”We know all about Spain having played them in qualifying,” he said. ”They like to keep the ball and are very dangerous in attack. We will have to be patient and play our own game, likewe did against Greece.”
”Spain are a quality team. If some of the players that are sitting on their bench had Swedish passports, I would certainly have them in my team.”
Spain are mainy people’s favourites to win the tournament, which is being staged in Austria and Switzerland, and reinforced that tag with a 4-1 demolition of Russia in their opening group match. Sweden had no trouble beating defending champions Greece, 2-0.
Sweden though have been forced into making changes after picking up injuries to two players in that s win over Greece. Right winger Christian Wilhelmsson and Right full back Niclas Alexandersson are both out.
Bars and stores in Sweden are expecting a busy time as the country comes to a virtual stand-still at Six 0’Clock Swedish time as the match kick’s off.