Lagerback rests Paris pair from Sweden friendly

May 22, 2006

STOCKHOLM, May 22 (Reuters) - Sweden coach Lars Lagerback has opted to rest Barcelona striker Henrik Larsson and Arsenal midfielder Freddie Ljungberg from Thursday's World Cup warm-up friendly against Finland.

Ljungberg and Larsson faced each other in last Wednesday's Champions League final won by Barcelona.

Ljungberg is still struggling with a foot injury that has bothered him this season but Larsson, who returns to his old Swedish club Helsingborg after the World Cup, is fit.

'Because Henrik and Fredrik didn't have any time off last week they will leave the (training) camp on Wednesday and join us again when we re-unite on Sunday. That's why they're not an option for the Finland game,' Lagerback told the news agency TT.

First choice central midfielder Teddy Lucic, a veteran who plays for Swedish first division side BK Haecken, is also likely to miss the game with a groin injury.

Thursday's match in Gothenburg is one of the two remaining World Cup warm-up friendlies for Sweden, who are drawn with England, Paraguay and Trinidad & Tobago at the finals in Germany. They face Chile on June 2 in Stockholm.