Hamren gambles on Elmander for Euro 2012

14 May 2012 08:17

Swedish coach Eric Hamren took a gamble on Monday by naming Johan Elmander in his 23-man squad for Euro 2012 despite the veteran striker having broken a bone in his foot on Saturday.

Hamren said that he had been assured by team doctor Leif Sward that the 30-year-old former Toulouse and Bolton Wanderers player would be fit in time for their opening Group D match against co-hosts Ukraine on June 11.

Elmander, who has been capped 63 times, scoring 16 goals, broke the bone during his side Galatasaray's 0-0 draw at rivals Fenerbahce on Saturday that saw them take the Turkish title.

"For me, Johan is an integral element in our team and I am going to take a gamble following the advice of Leif," said Hamren.

Elmander is likely to form a partnership with AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but Hamren was left frustrated that he was not able to name young prodigy John Guidetti.

The 20-year-old striker, who has been viewed as the natural successor to Ibrahimovic, has not played for his Dutch club Feyenoord since April 14 because of a nervous affliction that sees him lose all feeling in his right leg from time to time.

However, Hamren did also include experienced attacking midfielder Sebastian Larsson, who underwent a hernia operation on April 24.

The Swedes play all their matches in Kiev, following up their clash with Ukraine with games against England on June 15 and France on June 19.

The Scandinavian side have two warm-up games prior to leaving for the tournament on June 6 -- against Iceland in Gothenburg on May 30 and Serbia in Stockholm on June 5.


Goalkeepers: Andreas Isaksson (PSV Eindhoven/NED), Johan Wiland (FC Copenhagen/DEN), Par Hansson (Helsingborg)

Defenders: Mikael Antonsson (Bologna/ITA), Andreas Granqvist (Genoa/ITA), Mikael Lustig (Celtic/SCO), Olof Mellberg (Olympiakos/GRE), Jonas Olsson (West Bromwich Albion/ENG), Martin Olsson (Blackburn Rovers/ENG), Behrang Safari (Anderlecht/BEL)

Midfielders: Emir Bajrami (Twente/NED), Rasmus Elm (AZ Alkmaar/NED), Samuel Holmen (Istanbul BB/TUR), Kim Kallstrom (Lyon/FRA), Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland/ENG), Anders Svensson (IF Elfsborg), Pontus Wernbloom (CSKA Moscow/RUS), Christian Wilhelmsson (Al-Hilal/KSA)

Forwards: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (AC Milan/ITA), Johan Elmander (Galatasaray/TUR), Tobias Hysen (Gothenburg), Ola Toivonen (PSV Eindhoven/NED), Marcus Rosenberg (Werder Bremen/GER)

Source: AFP