Preview: Sweden v Paraguay

Two sides under pressure meet in a must win Group B match in Berlin on Thursday.

    The Paraguayans train ahead of the big clash

    Both Sweden and Paraguay had high hopes going into the World Cup and both sides will feel they should have got more out of their respective opening matches.

    The Swedes could not break down a debuting 10-man Trinidad & Tobago outfit, with replacement Soca Warriors keeper Shaka Hislop thwarting the Scandinavians on multiple occasions.

    Paraguay meanwhile, sit at the bottom of the Group B table with their tireless efforts against England bearing no fruit in a tight 1-0 loss in Frankfurt.

    "The England match is behind us now and we can't do anything to change the outcome. We controlled much of the game and showed what we are capable of," said Paraguayan Football Association head Oscar Harrison.

    Cruz Azul defender Denis Caniza was in no doubt as to what was on the line for the South Americans who have made it through to the second round in the past two World Cups, and are now going for three in a row.

    "I am convinced that if we put in a consistent showing we will beat them. We have to - qualification is at stake," Caniza said.

    Seden coach Lars Lagerback keeps
    a close eye on Freddie Ljungberg

    For Sweden, there are rumours abound that disharmony exists in the team – especially between star midfielder Freddie Ljungberg and team captain Olof Mellberg, after their first up loss in Dortmund.

    "There was no fight and I have great respect for Olof. He is a great captain,” Ljungberg said.

    "We are very passionate and want Sweden to do our best. We didn't win and we just discussed how we can do better next time," the Arsenal player added.

    Mellberg and Ljungberg were at the centre of a training ground bust-up before the 2002 World Cup after Mellberg executed a heavy tackle on his midfield team mate.

    Cacophony is the last thing coach Lars Lagerback needs right now, and would prefer it if the talented Ljungberg could combine with dangerous strikers Henrik Larsson and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to get the Swedes on the scoreboard.

    With everything to play for, this should be an enthralling match between two attacking teams as they vie for a ticket to the next round.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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