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
"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.