Trap warning over Ibrahimovic

Giovanni Trapattoni has warned his Republic of Ireland players not to become too focused on Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Last Updated: 06/09/13 at 08:14 Post Comment

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Faces the Republic of Ireland tonight

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Faces the Republic of Ireland tonight

Giovanni Trapattoni has warned his Republic of Ireland players not to become too wrapped up in their mission to shackle Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The two sides meet at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Friday night with three priceless World Cup qualifying points at stake and with the Paris St Germain frontman representing the most significant threat to Ireland's hopes of victory.

However, while acknowledging Ibrahimovic's prowess, Trapattoni insists it would be a mistake to think he is the Swedes' only potential match-winner.

The 74-year-old Italian said: "There are players like Ibra, like (Lionel) Messi, like Robbie (Keane), the goalscorers - they have a feeling for the goal.

"A long time ago, I was a player, I was a player like 'Okay, there is Pele, put Trapattoni on Pele. Trapattoni doesn't play, Pele doesn't play'. It was okay.

"Today, football has changed and it's impossible to put Messi, for example, under lock and key. It's impossible because the team allows him to keep the ball. You can't put two men against Messi.

"Ibra is Ibra. He can score, he can play where he wants - he can play back, he can play as a striker and it will be important for us not to follow him because there are other players - there is the Sweden team."

Ibrahimovic failed to hit the heights when Ireland travelled to Stockholm in March and returned with a creditable 0-0 draw.

However, Republic skipper Robbie Keane knows he and his team-mates cannot rely upon a repeat this time around.

The 33-year-old said: "You can't play well in every game. With players like Zlatan, everyone is watching him to see what he's going to do and thinking he is going to do something special all the time.

"But sometimes, it doesn't work like that and the way we played in Stockholm certainly frustrated the Swedish team and they didn't get much service to Zlatan, so in that respect it was probably a difficult game for him.

"But you can't play well all the time and hopefully we can keep him quiet as well because we know how important he is to Sweden and at any given time, he can produce something out of nowhere, so we have to be very, very wary of him."

Keane's 59 senior international goals make him Ireland's stand-out threat to hopes, but just as he cannot do it alone, midfielder Sebastian Larsson is adamant Sweden are not a one-man team.

Asked if they are too reliant on Ibrahimovic, he said: "No, not at all. I don't see it as a concern to have a world-class striker like him in our team.

"He has helped us out a lot before when we maybe haven't reached a level that we should do.

"But at the same time, we are 11 men on the pitch and we can't just rely on him. We will all have to chip in and try to do well."


Sky Bet Free Bet Club: £10 free bet - £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

think Finnegans Wake would have been a better reference point than Ulysses. Far more rambling and incomprehensible.

debra2927
Football People On TV: Garth Crooks

I

f I recall correctly, Degsy predicted a 100/1 shot correctly the week after his 150/1 Blackpool 4 - 3 Bolton call. I stuck a fiver on it as an idle bet. Paid for a stag do in Munich. Heady days...

baldini
Backing Hull To Beat United 2-1...

R

odgers prefers Joe Allen to Lucas? If this is true then I'm setting aside a fortnight to finally learn the rules of American Football and I'll give up on real football.

godzilla
The Jammy Gossip

Footer 365

Carlton Cole doesn't know if he will stay at West Ham next season

West Ham striker Carlton Cole revealed he still does not know where his future lies beyond this season.

Louis van Gaal believes David De Gea will stay at Manchester United

Louis van Gaal believes David De Gea will stay at Manchester United despite speculation linking him with Real Madrid.

Roy Hodgson wants Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard on England coaching staff

Roy Hodgson wants Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard on the England coaching team when they retire from playing.

Mail Box

Only One Real Manager Of The Year

Winning the Premier League with the best squad in the Premier League is only par; Ronald Koeman did a whole lot better. Plus, the last word on Raheem and...

Don't Slate Sterling For Ambition...

Raheem Sterling deserves credit for his desire to quit Liverpool, according to one mailboxer. Also: why football should not be compared to business and Degsy's latest spot of bother...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company