Monday 19 March 2018

Olsson: Swedes can counter Hoolahan and Brady threat

Martin Olsson. Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images
Martin Olsson. Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images

John Fallon

Martin Olsson is adamant his Sweden side can repel the threat of Norwich City clubmate Wes Hoolahan in the European Championship Group E opener on Monday week.

Hoolahan is set to play a key role in Martin O'Neill's side, who face the Swedes in Paris aware that victory could be enough to secure their progression to the knockout stages of the tournament.

Olsson, in line to make his comeback from a groin injury in the farewell friendly against Wales on Sunday, has praised the Dubliner but thinks the Swedes can nullify his threat.

"Wes is a technically a fantastic player who on his day can dribble away from anyone," explained the 28-year-old.

"But if you're tight on him, he is not the strongest. I know we will be solid defensively and we will be ready for the threat Ireland pose."

Olsson is also fully aware of Robbie Brady's talents, having played alongside him at Carrow Road during a season that ended last month on a low-point of relegation to the Championship.

"Robbie has a great left foot and can break at pace. The danger he causes from set-pieces is something we'll have to watch," said Olsson.

Sweden's dependency on set-pieces was apparent yesterday as they erected giant barricades to keep their closed training session in Bastad from prying eyes.

"We saw in our play-off victory over Denmark how successful free-kicks were when they weren't leaked beforehand," said defender Andreas Granqvist.

"We'll continue to work on tactical details to surprise our opponents at the Euros."

Irish Independent

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