Zlatan Ibrahimovic feels Ireland v Sweden could be an open game
Striker thinks his side can survive a slip up in Dublin
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: “There is pressure to win but there are other games and chances to take the points we need to go to the World Cup.” Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters
Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes that Sweden’s qualification hopes can survive a slip up in Dublin tomorrow but feels that they can take a significant step towards a play-off place if they don’t concede in what should, he feels, be a more open game.
“We’ve trained well this week and I’m looking forward to the game, it’s an important one for us, but I don´t think it’s all or nothing,” he says. “There is pressure to win but there are other games and chances to take the points we need to go to the World Cup.
“I think it will be a more open game; they (Ireland) came here and closed down the space for us. Playing at home I think they will attack more which leave more space for us. But it depends on how much they are ready to offer in this game. And it’s an away game, which is never easy. We must be careful and focussed on not letting any goals in.”
“The groups we are playing in now,” he says, “are not like before. It is much harder now when only the first team qualifies and not the second . . . And if you get Germany in your group then it is very difficult. The other nations have made progress too so it’s not easy.
“So, yes, I think so,” says the 31-year-old on whether the manager should stay if the Swedes miss out. “We must find the calmness in our way of playing, instead of just giving away the ball.”