Sweden without promising striker Guidetti at Euros
STOCKHOLM (AP) -Sweden will be without its most promising young striker for the European Championship, as John Guidetti will miss the tournament because of a thigh problem.
Coach Erik Hamren announced a 23-man squad without any major surprises, but could find himself relying more than ever on Zlatan Ibrahimovic in attack because of injury problems. The 20-year-old Guidetti scored 20 goals in 23 games this season while on loan at Feyenoord from Manchester City but has failed to recover from a right thigh problem that ruled him out of the last part of the season.
"I'm terribly disappointed,'' Guidetti said on the Swedish football federation's website. "I've had a fantastic season at Feyenoord and got to make my national team debut. The Euros were of course the big goal and it's sad not to get that chance.''
Guidetti has struggled with an infected nerve in his thigh and has yet to build up the muscle strength he lost, team doctor Leif Sward said.
Meanwhile, Galatasaray forward Johan Elmander is in the squad but is struggling to get fit after sustaining a fracture in his right foot. Elmander has been a regular starter next to Ibrahimovic up front for Sweden.
"I'll do everything I can to be on the pitch in Ukraine,'' Elmander said.
If he can't, Werder Bremen forward Markus Rosenberg or PSV Eindhoven's Ola Toivonen could fill in, but it would leave Sweden with a lack of natural goal scorers.
Sweden plays co-host Ukraine, England and France in Group D.
With Sweden having missed the 2010 World Cup, 12 members of the squad will be playing in their first major tournament. Veteran defender Olof Mellberg will be playing in his sixth.
"It's going to be an exciting challenge, it's a tough unpredictable group,'' Hamren said. "We could play three really good games and still not advance from the group.''
Goalkeepers: Andreas Isaksson (PSV Eindhoven), Johan Wiland (FC Copenhagen), Par Hansson (Helsingborg)
Defenders: Mikael Lustig (Celtic), Olof Mellberg (Olympiakos), Andreas Granqvist (Genoa), Martin Olsson (Blackburn), Jonas Olsson (West Bromwich Albion), Mikael Antonsson (Bologna), Behrang Safari (Anderlecht)
Midfielders: Rasmus Elm (AZ Alkmaar), Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland), Anders Svensson (Elfsborg), Kim Kallstrom (Lyon), Pontus Wernbloom (CSKA Moscow), Samuel Holmen (Istanbul), Emir Bajrami (Twente), Christian Wilhelmsson (Al Hilal)
Forwards: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (AC Milan), Johan Elmander (Galatasaray), Tobias Hysen (IFK Goteborg), Ola Toivonen (PSV Eindhoven), Markus Rosenberg (Werder Bremen)
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