Premier League veteran Seb Larsson insists all the pressure is on England when they take on Sweden in this weekend’s World Cup quarter-final.
England face a last eight World Cup tie for the first time in 12 years in Samara on Saturday, but it has been an even longer wait for Sweden, who haven’t gone this far in the competition since 1994.
Despite the absence of talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sweden have been one of the surprise packages of the tournament after topping a group containing Mexico and Germany and then beating Switzerland in the last 16.
And Sweden midfielder Larsson – who made more than 400 Premier League appearances for Arsenal, Birmingham and Sunderland – says Janne Andersson’s side have nothing to lose against the Three Lions.
“I’m sure people back in England expect them to go through,” said Larsson.
“If they weren’t to go through and beat Sweden that would be a massive disappointment to say the least, so that’s something the English players have to deal with.
“England are favourites, yes, of course they are but we don’t mind. We still put pressure on ourselves; we don’t feel like we are satisfied here.
“For me, personally, to be going up against England, the country where I have spent 17 years, it’s obviously a little bit special.
“It’s a game we are really looking forward to. We have got huge respect for England, they’ve got quality players all over the pitch, and they are a good team.”