By Rob Kelly
Former Arsenal winger Anders Limpar believes Zlatan Ibrahimovic is “a lot better” than anyone in the England squad - but still expects Roy Hodgson’s side to prevail on Friday.
The AC Milan striker scored Sweden’s opening goal of Euro 2012 against Ukraine on Monday, but could not prevent his team from slipping to a 2-1 defeat.
And despite Ibrahimovic’s presence, Limpar insists Erik Hamren’s men will go into their Group D clash against the Three Lions as major underdogs.
“We’re relying on Zlatan to carry Sweden and for that he’ll need to be on his best form,” the former Sweden international told the Official Arsenal Magazine. “If Zlatan’s on song, we can do good things. If he’s not firing on all cylinders, we’re in trouble.
“In my opinion Zlatan is a lot better than any England player. The problem is with the rest of the team.
“England are very strong as a unit, Fabio Capello took them to a very good level tactically. So at the moment England are far better than Sweden.”
If Sweden are to spring a surprise at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, Limpar says Ibrahimovic will be central to their hopes.
“He’s one of the best players I’ve ever seen. He’s like a one-man team, he is for Sweden what Maradona was for Argentina, the guy who makes a difference,” he said.
“But he needs help, and I hope the other players can do that, even though they’re not the same level.
“I know him privately, and he is a great guy, very friendly, a great personality, and I know you English are afraid of him a bit. I really love him as a player. He’s from another planet.”
Read the full interview with Anders in the latest edition of the Official Arsenal Magazine. Click here to subscribe or call 0845 301 762615 Jun 2012