Friday 24 November 2017

Lustig insists Sweden will be happy with Dublin point

Mikael Lustig celebrates after Georgios Samaras scores against Barcelona at the Nou Camp. Picture: Jasper Juinen/Getty Images.
Mikael Lustig celebrates after Georgios Samaras scores against Barcelona at the Nou Camp. Picture: Jasper Juinen/Getty Images.
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

CELTIC defender Mikael Lustig tasted victory at Lansdowne Road on Saturday but he reckons that a draw would be a reasonable result when he returns to Dublin 4 with Sweden next month.

The versatile defender was pressed on World Cup matters after playing his part in the 'Dublin Decider' win over Liverpool, and suggested that he doesn't expect anything pretty when he encounters Giovanni Trapattoni's Ireland outfit on September 6 in a game that will have serious ramifications for the play-off battle in the qualification campaign.

Austria, Sweden and Ireland sit level on 11 points going into the final four games and Lustig reckons a point in Ballsbridge would be an acceptable result given the Austrians still have to visit Stockholm.

"We can't lose the game," he stressed. "A draw we can take, because we have Austria at home but it is a massive game.

"We've still got it in our hands; we've got Austria at home and Germany at home as well. Of course, we want three points in Dublin and if we take them, our chances will look decent but if we lost it will not be so good for us."


Lustig says that the expectation in Sweden is that they will come out on top of the fight for the runners-up spot behind Germany, yet he feels that his country have been misfiring for some time.

"We've quite a good history in reaching big tournaments," said the 26-year-old. "But we haven't played good in the last couple of qualifiers. We need to step up a bit because we haven't played the football we know we can; we need to find our style of play because we haven't played well in a long, long time."

Clearly, the Swedes are expecting nothing revolutionary from Trapattoni's men in their second meeting, with Lustig dismissive of the quality of the scoreless draw in March.

"It was a really poor game. I think Ireland made it really hard for us," he continued. "We created one big chance, in the last minute. Ireland didn't create many chances either against us. It was quite a poor football game.

"Hopefully now this will be better. I mean Ireland are at home and it is the same for them as us, they need to win," the defender added.

"They played quite long ball against us in Sweden. I don't think they will play tika-taka football when we come here.

"We want to reach the World Cup finals and we need to make more than two points from the two games against Ireland.

"Now, we are heading into the important games. A draw would be quite a good result for us here but of course we want to win."

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