Sweden v Denmark: Lustig eager to make most of home advantage


Sweden take on rivals Denmark in the first leg of their Euro 2016 qualification play-off tie on Saturday, with defender Mikael Lustig eager to secure an advantage to take to Copenhagen.

The two games in the space of four days will determine which of the Scandinavian sides will travel to France for the 24-team tournament next year.

Sweden suffered frustration by losing two crucial qualifiers against Russia and Austria in September to miss out on an automatic ticket that looked to be on the cards for much of the campaign.

A haul of only two points in Denmark's final three matches meant they also missed out in their group as Albania battled to second place behind Portugal. 

Celtic right-back Lustig does not feel there is much between the two teams and urged Sweden to make full use of the fact they play the first leg at home by building an advantage to take with them to Denmark.

"Hopefully playing at home can be an advantage, especially when we are heading into games like this which are play-offs," the 28-year-old told Celtic View.

"You don’t want to risk too much but now we need to try to get on the front foot and try to score as many as possible.

"We know it is going to be hard to go to Copenhagen and scoring there so hopefully we can do enough to get a good result at home.

"It is a difficult task and this could be 50-50."

Lustig compared the two nations' rivalry to England versus Scotland and is desperate to see Sweden end their poor run of form in the fixture – they  have failed to score in the last five games dating back to 2007, losing four of them.

He continued: "We are neighbours so it is a bit like England and Scotland. Of course, it is a big game and it is the same language we speak so there is plenty of that.

"It is a special game and that adds to it. It is going to hurt more if you lose against Denmark than another team and vice versa.

"We have a bad recent record against them and the last four games we have not won but it is a new game with new opportunities. As long as we go to the Euros we will be happy, even though we have done it the hard way."

Denmark playmaker Christian Eriksen says his side can improve going forward ahead of the Sweden game after failing to score in their costly last three qualifiers.

"You can always create more chances, it is clear," the Tottenham star told TV2.

"We have been guilty of playing the ball sideways too often but we have still created the chances to get goals and win – we have just not scored enough.

"We have lacked that last bit of luck in a few matches. We have hit the post and only lacked a few centimetres to score goals. We must work even harder to find a way we can get the ball over the line."