Preview: Trinidad & Tobago v Sweden

The Westfalenstadion in Dortmund will host an intriguing Group B match between Trinidad & Tobago and Sweden on Saturday night.

    Swedish fans fire up ahead of their team's opening clash

    Currently placed 47th in the FIFA World Rankings, island nation Trinidad and Tobago secured a dream debut at the World Cup Finals when they defeated Bahrain in a play-off to become the final team to qualify for Germany 2006.

    Sweden qualified for their 11th Finals appearance by being one of the best runners-up in Europe, but go into the tournament on the back of some indifferent recent performances.

    The Swedes topped their 'Group of Death' at Japan/Korea 2002, a group that contained Argentina, Nigeria and 2006 rivals England, and will be even more confident of doing the same this time around.

    Swedish coach Lars Lagerback is renowned for his precise man-management and will ensure his team is primed for another Cup Finals assault.

    Forward pairing Henrik Larsson and Zlatan Ibrahimovic both won their domestic league titles with Barcelona and Juventus respectively, with Larsson going on to play a starring role off the bench in his side’s UEFA Champions League Final win.

    Ibrahimovic however finished the Serie A season in poor form, and the highly rated 24 year old will be looking to make a big impact on the tournament to stave off the critics.

    Flying the flag: Dwight Yorke will
    lead Trinidad & Tobago on debut

    Coached by the experienced Leo Beenhakker, Trinidad & Tobago are the smallest nation ever to qualify for a World Cup Finals and have been handed a daunting task against the clinical Swedes first up.

    The key man for T&T is Dwight Yorke, who is also coming off domestic success with his club side Sydney FC in the Australian A-League.

    Soca Warriors fans will be hoping the adage 'Age shall not weary them' rings true with Yorke, 34, teaming up Russell Latapy, 37, to provide opportunities for striker Stern John, 29, up front.

    Meanwhile, solid Glasgow Rangers based defender Marvin Andrews will have his hands full trying to marshal his defence against the likes of Larsson, Ibrahimovic and the effervescent Freddie Ljungberg.

    It will be new comer’s exuberance versus composed experience when Trinidad & Tobago square off against Sweden in what could be a harsh welcome to the big stage for the Caribbean islanders.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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