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Swede Linderoth misses training with hamstring pull

Written by: Staff
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BREMEN, June 5 (Reuters) Defensive midfielder Tobias Linderoth missed Sweden's training session today with a pulled hamstring while goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson has recovered from a minor back injury.

''Isaksson trained today while we left Linderoth in the hotel just as a precaution because the tournament is getting closer and we want to be at full strength when it starts,'' coach Lars Lagerback told a news conference.

''We also decided to give the players a day off on Tuesday and resume on Wednesday because they have worked hard in the build-up and it's time to slow down,'' he said.

Sweden open their World Cup Group B campaign against Trinidad&Tobago in Dortmund on Saturday and Lagerback believes they will get the good start they need to reach the knockout stages.

''We always said it is going to be a tight race between England, Paraguay and Sweden for the top two spots. I think Trinidad and Tobago are the group's underdogs.'' ''We are confident that we can reach the second round and the team spirit is excellent as always,'' said Lagerback.

''Getting through to the last 16 is our basic goal but on a good day we can beat any team and I think we can do very well.'' Assistant coach Roland Andersson said Sweden would stick to their usual strategy in the potentially decisive final group match against England in Cologne on June 20.

''We know each other inside out. There are no secrets between these two teams and we will stick to our pattern of play regardless of whether Wayne Rooney plays or not.'' ''We always defend in a particular way and whether Rooney is in the team makes no difference to us, somebody else will take his place if he is not fit.'' Rooney suffered a broken right foot in a Premier League game against Chelsea on April 29 and is due for a scan on June 7 to see whether he can play any part in the finals in Germany.

REUTERS PM PC1756

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