SAINT-DENIS, Sporting Alert – Zlatan Ibrahimovic, one of the world’s most talked about forwards, will lead Sweden against the Republic of Ireland in a UEFA Euro 2016 Group E game at Stade De France in Saint-Denis, on Monday.
The veteran forward is lining up in his fourth successive European Championships and is a favourite to set a tournament record for scoring in each competition.
His supporting cast will include Marcus Berg, Emil Forsberg and Kim Kallstrom, with Martin Olsson, Sebastian Larsson and Oscar Lewicki also starting in the group opener.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles Galaxy forward Robbie Keane is only on the bench for the Republic of Ireland, after overcoming a calf injury. He is Ireland’s record goal scorer.
James McCarthy, however, is available from the start after he passed a fitness test on his hamstring.
With Keane on the bench, coach Martin O’Neill will look to Jon Walters, who is back from an Achilles problem, and Shane Long to get the goals, with Wes Hoolahan expected to play a major role in the attack as well.
Walters, it is reported, went through special training alone last week in an attempt to improve his fitness for the start of the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament.
McCarthy is joined in the midfield by Glenn Whelan and Jeff Hendrick, with Seamus Coleman, John O’Shea, Ciaran Clark and Robbie Brady starting in the back four.
Sweden’s Albin Ekdal starts on the bench after he recovered from a thick cut to his back during a fall at a nightclub last month, while Darren Randolph keeps his place as the starting goalkeeper for the Republic of Ireland, with Keiren Westwood a substitute.
Ireland: Darren Randolph, Seamus Coleman, John O’Shea, Ciaran Clark, Robbie Brady, James McCarthy, Glenn Whelan, Jeff Hendrick, Wes Hoolahan, Jon Walters, Shane Long.
Sweden: Andreas Isaksson, Mikael Lustig, Victor Lindelof, Andreas Granqvist, Martin Olsson, Sebastian Larsson, Oscar Lewicki, Kim Kallstrom, Emil Forsberg, Marcus Berg, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.