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Dec 27, 2012 7:54pm
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KIEV, Ukraine—Sweden has two concerns going into its opening European
Championship game against Ukraine on Monday—Johan Elmanders foot and the
co-hosts crowd support. Andrew Luck Womens Jersey . Elmander is
Swedens only major injury worry, with the Galatasaray forward struggling to
recover from a fracture in his right foot. He worked out separately on Thursday
while the rest of squad held their first training session in Ukraine on the
outskirts of Kyiv. Elmander is coach Erik Hamrens top choice to start up front
along with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and is expected to begin participating in full
training on Friday. “So far its looking good, and hes very positive,” Hamren
said at a news conference. Hamren sounded more concerned about facing Ukraine in
its opening game, saying the host nation is usually among the toughest teams to
play in the first match. While Sweden may seem to have a stronger lineup on
paper, Hamren also pointed out that the last three games between the teams have
finished with a win for each side and a draw. “We know it will be even tougher
on Monday because of the home support, so in my eyes theyre the favourites to
win,” he said. “If you look at the statistics, its not often that the host
nation loses its opener.” Thats why Elmanders fitness may be key for the Swedes.
The former Bolton strikers speed and willingness to run tirelessly throughout a
game can open up more space for Ibrahimovic, Swedens best player who is likely
to be deployed in a playmaker role behind whoever is at centre forward. “His
qualities help make it easier for me,” Ibrahimovic said after a 2-1 friendly win
over Serbia on Tuesday, which Elmander missed. If Elmander still isnt fit on
Monday, Hamren does have other options. PSV Eindhoven striker Ola Toivonen
started up front against Serbia and scored the opening goal. In the previous
warm-up game against Iceland, Werder Bremen forward Markus Rosenberg started in
that role with Toivonen on the wing—although Rosenberg is also struggling
with an injury. Hamren said he isnt in a hurry to make up his mind about his
lineup. “I dont have a clear starting 11 in my mind,” he said. “There are some
positions where very small margins will decide whos going to play. And I dont
have everyone match fit right now, so well see in the coming days whos available
on game day.” Sweden enjoyed a fairly relaxed first full day in Ukraine, with
those who played against Serbia only engaging in light training during Thursdays
session. The team then showed Swedish media around the hotel it is staying at
south of Kyiv, with Hamren saying hes trying to make sure the players dont start
thinking too much about the Ukraine game too far in advance. Even though Sweden
may be the co-hosts opponent, Hamren said he was impressed with the reception
the team received when it arrived on Wednesday night—especially a group of
young dancers that greeted the team at the hotel. “I hope my players watched and
learned, because their footwork was really world class,” he said. Dwight Freeney Womens Jersey . Going into
these playoffs he was well down the Canadian depth chart, or at least that was
the sense.  There were at least six centres you could think of that were ahead
of him; Sidney Crosby, Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Ryan Getzlaf, Joe Thornton
and Vincent Lecavalier. Andrew Luck Jersey . He wasnt talking about
their play, though, after the Red Sox failed for the fourth time this season to
eclipse the .500 mark with a 7-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night. http://www.coltsfanstore.com/andrew-luck-jersey
. With training camp only two weeks away, youre going to hear all sorts of lip
service paid to internal growth, to the defensive culture and to great additions
brought in this summer. Robert Mathis Jersey . City had to play more
than an hour with 10 men following James Milners dismissal for a professional
foul on Shane Long, who put the hosts ahead in the 67th minute. Dzeko was
introduced in the 79th and equalized a minute later by heading home Carlos
Tevezs free kick. T.Y. Hilton Jersey . —NASCAR has approved
all four automakers new Sprint Cup Series race car designs for next
season.(Sports Network) – With both teams out of playoff contention, the focus
has turned to the managers as the Toronto Blue Jays travel to Boston to take on
the Red Sox to begin a three-game series. Another controversy involving Red Sox
manager Bobby Valentine has re-ignited rumours that have Blue Jays manager John
Farrell heading back to Boston where he served as the teams pitching coach for
five seasons. Farrell—who is under contract with the Blue Jays through 2013
—has tried to downplay the speculation, saying his focus is squarely on his
current team, but with the Red Sox headed to their first losing season since
1997, the rumours continue to persist. On the field, the Blue Jays will send
struggling Henderson Alvarez to the hill to open the series in Boston. The
righty has lost his last five decisions and is 7-12 on the year with a 5.04 ERA.
Alvarez beat the Red Sox back on July 22, but surrendered seven runs in that
one. For his career he is 2-1 with a 4.66 ERA in five starts against them. The
Blue Jays snapped a four-game losing streak on Wednesday with a 6-4 win over the
Baltimore Orioles. Catcher J.P. Arencibia and 3B Brett Lawrie are both off the
disabled list and will be in uniform tonight. The Blue Jays also recalled RHP
David Carpenter, RHP Joel Carreno and C/INF Yan Gomes. Meanwhile, the Red Sox
are returning home following a disastrous 1-9 road trip, after which Valentine
found himself embroiled in yet another conntroversy after getting involved in a
heated discussion with a Boston area radio host. Adam Vinatieri Jersey. WEEI radio hosts Glenn
Ordway and Michael Holley were questioning Valentine about a report that said
the manager arrived later than normal for a game in Oakland last week, asking
him if hes “checked out” on the season. “What an embarrassing thing to say. If I
were there right now, Id punch you right in the mouth. Ha, ha,” said Valentine.
Valentine said he was kidding, but its just the latest incident in whats been a
miserable first season with the Red Sox. “When you talk about someones family
and you talk about someones integrity, you draw the line of what should be done
in the workplace,” Valentine said. The road trip certainly did nothing to quell
the rumors that Valentines job could be in trouble. “This was not a good road
trip, obviously,” Valentine said. “One of the worst Ive ever experienced.”
Getting the call for the Red Sox in Fridays opener will be lefty Felix Doubront,
who is 10-7 with a 5.03 ERA. Doubront absorbed the loss in Oakland on Saturday,
as he allowed five runs and six hits in three innings. He is now 0-3 over his
last six starts and has allowed four runs or more in five of those outings.
Doubront was shelled for seven runs (5 earned) in a loss to the Blue Jays the
last time he faced them, but is 2-1 with a 4.37 ERA in eight games (3 starts).
Toronto is 7-5 versus the Red Sox. ’ ’ ’ 

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