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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jun 12, 2008

Spain expect torrid time from Sweden

NEUSTIFT, Austria June 12 (Reuters) - The Spanish defence expect to have their hands full when they try to tame Sweden strikers Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrik Larsson in their second Group D match on Saturday.

'It is very difficult to stop Ibrahimovic and the best thing is to keep him well away from the area, because when he gets there he can be very dangerous,' Spain left back Joan Capdevila told a news conference on Thursday.

'Larsson is a great header of the ball and he combines very well with Ibrahimovic too.'

Centre back Juanito, who is expected to be on the bench on Saturday, said his experience of playing against Larsson when the Swede played for Barcelona had made him wary of the 36-year-old.

'He may not be great at beating men, but he has a great scoring touch and is always there,' he said. 'Having returned after some time out (of the squad) I'm sure he will be keen to bring a lot to the team and is the perfect partner for Zlatan.'

Capdevila, who helped set up the first two goals in Spain's 4-1 win over Russia on Tuesday, said the emphatic nature of the victory had boosted morale in the Spain camp.

'The first game is fundamental and winning so emphatically against a difficult team was very good for us.'

'Our aim is to reach the quarters as soon as possible, but we know that Sweden are a very difficult team,' added Capdevila. 'They're probably the toughest team of the three in the group.'

Sweden are level on three points with Spain after beating European champions Greece 2-0 in their opening game.

Juanito said he did not expect Spain coach Luis Aragones to make any changes to the side that beat Russia and that he was prepared to wait for his chance later in the tournament.

'It will be logical for him not to make any changes given the team is working well and given that we haven't yet qualified. We just have to be ready so that when we are needed we can take advantage of any opportunity that we get.'

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