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12:22:51 PM
Hibernian v Elfsborg (Sun)
INTERTOTO CUP, second round, first leg
Venue: Easter Road Date: Sunday 6 July Kick off: 1500 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Scotland MW & BBC Sport website (UK only)

David van Zanten switched from St Mirren to Hibs in May
Defender David van Zanten is likely to make his Hibs debut

Elfsborg have suffered a double headache ahead of their Intertoto Cup second round first leg tie against Hibernian on Sunday.

Goalkeeper Johan Wiland was taken to hospital after colliding head first with a post while training at Easter Road but is expected to play.

But midfielder Stefan Ishizaki missed training with a cold and is a doubt.

Hibs will be without Moroccan pair Merouane Zemmama and Abdessalam Benjelloun for their home tie.

Midfielder Zemmama is still recovering from a broken bone in his foot.

Striker Benjelloun has been given a break after his recent international commitments.

The Swedes beat HB Torshavn of the Faroe Islands in the first round and have already started their domestic season while Hibs are just beginning their campaign.

But Hibs boss Mixu Paatelainen was hopeful that his own side would not be hampered by a lack of match practice.

"We haven't even played a practice game yet, so we really need to focus and concentrate for 90 minutes," he said.

"Training has gone well, but there is a question mark before a game is played."

Elfsborg lie second, three points behind Kalmar, in their domestic league, having lost just once in 12 games and conceded only three goals.

"They played in the Uefa Cup group stages last season and are a very good team," said Paatelainen.

"They are well balanced and disciplined, with quick strikers up front.

"We will have to be at our best if we want to keep a clean sheet, which is our target at home."

The Swedish top flight enjoyed a month-long break for Euro 2008.

League action started again on Wednesday, with Elfsborg recording a fine away victory over Djurgarden.

The visitors have also played two legs in the Intertoto Cup's previous round - and a Swedish Cup tie since their season resumed.

"I can't wait for Sunday and the players are looking forward to it as well because, whenever you start playing games, it means less training," added Paatelainen.

"The training has been very intense. We've had loads of double sessions, fitness, tactical and ball sessions, so it's been compact.

"It would have been nice to have played a practice game before this game because, when you start playing competitive football, you want to be ready.

"But that's the reason we entered the Intertoto Cup, because we wanted competitive games.

"I feel they give you more and it will also give us European football and hopefully the Uefa Cup."

Veteran Teddy Lucic will be hoping to record his second victory over Scottish opponents within a matter of months.


The 35-year-old former Leeds United and Bayer Leverkusen defender helped BK Hacken knock Dunfermline Athletic out of the Uefa Cup in August.

Lucic is not the only Elfsborg player with international experience, former Southampton striker Anders Svensson having amassed 93 caps.

Svensson scored on Wednesday and assistant coach Peter Wettergren told his club website: "We expect a tough game against enthusiastic opponents in Scotland."

But Magnus Haglund's side, who add midfielder Elmin Kurbegovic to the squad that beat Djurgarden, will be without their latest two signings.

Lasse Nilsson, a 26-year-old twice-capped striker, this week returned to Elfsborg on loan from St Etienne, while teenage winger Jesper Floren has signed a three-year contract after leaving the Ajax academy.

Hibernian (from): McNeil, Grof, van Zanten, Jones, Hogg, Murray, Canning, McCann, Hanlon, Kerr, Chisholm, Rankin, Stevenson, Shiels, Morais, Fletcher, Nish, O'Brien.

Elfsborg (from): Abbas Hassan, Johan Wiland, Martin Andersson, Johan Karlsson, Teddy Lucic, Andreas Augustsson, Johan Sjöberg, Mathias Florén, Emir Bajrami, Daniel Mobaeck, Stefan Ishizaki, Daniel Nordmark, Anders Svensson, Helgi Danielsson, Denni Avdic, Fredrik Berglund, Joakim Sjöhage, Elmin Kurbegovic.

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