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Swede boss backs England

Sweden boss Erik Hamren has insisted England can win next summer's European Championship ahead of his side's Wembley friendly tonight.

England's shock victory over Spain on Saturday proved a double-edged sword, with what was a welcome result against the world and European champions tempered somewhat by the obvious gulf in class between the two countries.

But while Hamren had no doubt yesterday who the favourites for Euro 2012 are, he claimed England were not that far behind.

"It's the three big countries -- Spain, Holland and Germany -- who are favourites," Hamren said. "England are one team who can challenge."


That is even without Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard or Jack Wilshere, according to Hamren, who will not have to deal with that trio tonight.

"If you see the squad, you can put some really, really good players in instead of them," he said.

Sweden and Sunderland winger Sebastian Larsson suggested one reason for England's failure at major tournaments was the media's "unrealistic expectations".

Although expected to beat Sweden, England have repeatedly come unstuck against the Scandinavians, who boast a 43-year unbeaten record against them.

Larsson said: "It's a funny statistic and hopefully we can keep it going."