Belfast Telegraph

No chance I will miss England clash, says Sweden captain Granqvist

The defender could return home before the match for the birth of his child, though.

Sweden captain Andreas Granqvist says he will play against England, but could fly home before the clash to attend the birth of his child.

The defender’s wife Sofia is due to give birth, which had left him a doubt for Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final.

But the former Wigan player is adamant he will play in the game, even if he has to fly home first.

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Sweden’s Andreas Granqvist wants to face England. (John Walton/PA)

“I’m planning to stay,” Granqvist told SNTV.

“My wife is a very strong person and we knew the situation before I came here. Nothing has happened so far.

“If I have the position to fly home quickly then I may do that. But, whatever happens, I do not miss the quarter-final.”

England midfielder Fabian Delph missed his side’s dramatic win over Colombia to be at the birth of his third child, but has since travelled back to Russia.

Sweden beat Switzerland 1-0 on Monday, a day before England progressed 4-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw.

And Granqvist believes Sweden could have the edge in the last-eight game because of their team spirit.

“Harry Kane is fantastic,” he said. “They play more offensively now than they did before, with skillful players like (Raheem) Sterling.

“We lost a lot of big names, we had to start from the beginning and play with 23 players, not one or two.

“We’ve worked really hard and we’ve shown that we really work for each other, we fight for each other and we do it as a collective.”

The general perception of the England side has been a positive one, though Sweden scout Tom Prahl was quoted as telling Expressen that “in terms of weaknesses, they aren’t very good at moving the ball quick” and have not “been under much pressure”.

He added that England had “been given the opportunity to move it nice and slow” but that they have “method to their build-up”.

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