England will play two friendlies against Sweden as part of their World Cup preparations .
Hope Powell’s side will begin their preparations for the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifier against France on 26 March with two friendly internationals against Sweden.The Swedes will be in Cyprus for a winter training camp and will face the Three Lions at the 12,000 capacity GSZ Stadium in Larnaca on 7 February, and then two days later the sides will meet again at the 3,000 capacity Dasaki Stadium in Achna.
The GSZ Stadium is the home stadium of AEK Larnaca and ALKI Larnaca, and has played host to a number of Cyprus men’s world cup qualifiers in recent years.
Larnaka was originally known as Kition, or Khittim, and legend has it that the first settlement at the spot was founded by Noah's grandson Khittim.
Sweden of course secured a 1-0 victory over England at Ewood Park in June to knock the hosts out of Euro 2005; Anna Sjostrom’s third minute goal enough to see Marika Domanski-Lyfors’ team progress to the semi finals.
The two games in Cyprus will therefore provide stiff opposition as England gear up for a crucial run of four consecutive home World Cup qualifiers.
With only the top team from each group going through to the Finals in China, the challenge of the Swedes will give Powell and her coaching staff a chance to gauge the form and fitness of her players in competitive fixtures.
One change that will be forced upon England for the France game is the replacement of captain Faye White in the backline, after the Arsenal defender collected her second yellow card of the campaign away to Holland in
Sweden include two new caps in their squad of 20, with Stina Segerström and Caroline Näfwer the newcomers, whilst the celebrated strike partnership of Hannah Ljungberg and Victoria Svensson lead the experienced heads, with 228 caps and 106 goals between them.
Hedvig Lindahl, Sofia Lundgren, Sara Larsson, Caroline Näfwer, Hanna Marklund, Anna Paulson, Stina Segerström, Karolina Westberg, Frida Östberg, Johanna Almgren, Linda Fagerström, Nilla Fischer, Maria Karlsson, Lotta Schelin, Caroline Seger, Therese Sjögran, Sara Johansson, Hanna Ljungberg, Therese Lundin, Victoria Svensson
Supporters or media interested in travelling to Cyprus for either game should be aware that their passports must be valid for 6 months from the date of their return.