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Though not a favourite, the team has the potential not only to top their Group, like they did in 2002, but also to win the Cup. In 1958 they lost the final to Brazil, that being the best performance by the squad to date.

india Updated: May 25, 2006 19:17 IST

FIFA world ranking 16
Coach Lars Lagerback
Group B England, Sweden, Paraguay, Trinidad & Tobago
Previous appearances 10 times. Finalists: 1958
Key player Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Odds 33/1

Sweden, though never a winner of the World Cup, has yet managed to give a tough challenge to strong teams.

Their 1958 performance remains to be the best when the team lost the final match to Brazil. Twice again the squad reached the semi-finals.

Of the 12 qualifying matches for the 2006 Cup, Sweden lost just two, both to Croatia. They secured 24 points, same as Croatia but owing to the two defeats, it lost out on the top slot.

But, was saved from being forced to appear in playoffs to qualify for the finals.

Even in the opening stages, the team brought England to settle with a draw. And once again the squad will try to top the group as they did in 2002.

With ace striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, an opponent's envy, playing with the squad, Sweden needs to tap the opportunity by delivering the best performance ever.


Goalkeepers: Isaksson Andreas, Alvbage John, Shaaban Rami

Defenders: Nilsson Mikael, Mellberg Olof, Lucic Teddy, Edman Erik, Hansson Petter, Stenman Fredrik, Svensson Karl

Midfielders: Linderoth Tobias, Alezandersson Niclas, Svensson Anders, Ljungberg Freddie, Kallstrom Kim, Andersson Daniel, Wilhelmsson Christian

Forwards: Ibrahimovic Zlatan, Larsson Henrik, Elmander Johan, Jonson Mattias, Allback Marcus, Rosenberg

First Published: May 25, 2006 19:17 IST