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Martinez's woe at wretched Everton

Everton
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Sweden - One eye on the trophy

Sweden boast a very strong squad that could easily make it all the way to the final as they did in the last edition of the tournament in 2003, when they fell short of the title succumbing to Germany who clinched a narrow 2-1 win.

Now in 2007, they are back with a new manager, Thomas Dennerby, and some fresh new talent with an eye for the finals and the World Cup trophy.

There was a tough blow to the team when three experienced veterans, Malin Mostrom, Linda Fagerstrom and Anna Sjostrom, retired from international football. This left top goal scorer Victoria Svensson with the tough job of leading the youngsters and using her Word Cup experience to keep the team on track in China.

However, in the qualifiers the Swedish side looked far from depleted; suffering only a minor glitch in a 2-2 draw against Iceland.

In the rest of their games they scored a hatful of goals (totalling over 30-goals in qualification) and celebrated a very successful campaign with their place sealed in the competition.

Sweden can claim an impressive record in international competition. They have qualified for every European Championships since the inaugural event in 1984, which they won, and have appeared in the final three times.

They have also qualified for each of the six previous World Cups, reaching the quarter-finals twice, and are hoping to secure the title in the forthcoming seventh edition of the tournament after losing out to Germany in 2003.

However, some critics doubt whether this will be their year as they are in a tough group and the more inexperienced players may not quite be up to the task ahead.