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Gerrard wary of Ibrahimovic threat

  • 15 Jun 2012
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KIEV (AFP)
 Gerrard admitted

England captain Steven Gerrard has urged his team to beware the threat posed by Sweden counterpart Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the two sides prepare for Friday's crucial Group D clash.

Gerrard said AC Milan striker Ibrahimovic was a "world class talent" who demanded special attention before adding that Sweden possessed attacking threats throughout their side.

"On his day he's very dangerous. We need the same level of commitment defensively to try and stop Ibrahimovic," Gerrard said Thursday.

"If you give him time and space he can hurt any team so we're well aware of him. We've watched videos of him and we're going to watch some more.

"But there's a lot more threats from Sweden than Ibrahimovic."

England manager Roy Hodgson said Ibrahimovic's goalscoring threat allied to Sweden's consistency made them difficult opponents.

"I've always felt Sweden are a very consistent team. On top of that in a player like Zlatan they've got a world class talent who is capable of winning a match off his own back," Hodgson said.

"That's what makes them such a difficult team to play and that's probably why they are always present at the major tournaments."

Ibrahimovic, who scored in his team's 2-1 defeat to Ukraine on Monday, had caused a fleeting scare in the Sweden camp on Wednesday after complaining of tightness in a thigh muscle.

However Swede manager Erik Hamren confirmed Ibrahimovic was fit to face England on Friday in a game which could see his team knocked out of the tournament if they lose.

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