Trinidad & Tobago and Sweden meet in a Group B clash with the Swedes heavily favoured to open their campaign with a convincing victory.
It is the Caribbean side’s first ever appearance at a World Cup finals and as the smallest country to ever qualify for the World Cup finals, they will be hoping to striker a blow for the small guy in Dortmund.
In the build-up to the tournament the Soca Warriors have struggled against the more physical European teams, but coach Leo Beenhakker believes the friendly games were an an important part of the side‘s learning curve.
“These games were about getting used to the way they play the game in Europe,” said Beenhakker, who led Holland in the 1990 World Cup.
“The way they play in Europe is different than what the players are used to. It’s a much more speedy game and a more physical game. We have to get used to it.”
Defender Marvin Andrews has been ruled out for Trinidad and Tobago after twisting a left knee in training. He is likely to be replaced by either Brent Sancho or Ian Cox.
Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes that he, his fellow striker Henrik Larsson along with Arsenal midfielder Freddie Ljungberg, can make a mark this afternoon, but he admits that the threat posed by Sweden is not confined to the attacking trio.
“I don’t think they (Trinidad and Tobago) should be afraid of us three,” Ibrahimovic said. “They should be afraid of the whole team. We came to the World Cup as a team, not only three players.
“These three players are with bigger clubs than the other ones. But without a team you don’t have success. The coach here put together the team that works together. He doesn’t put a team together that works with three players.”
Sweden will be without first-choice goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson (concussion) and will probably opt for John Alvbage.
Tobias Linderoth is a likely starter in midfield after missing two training sessions because of a minor thigh strain.
Sweden: Alvbage, Mellberg, Lucic, Edman, Stenman, Linderoth, Ljungberg, Wilhelmsson, Andersson, Larsson, Ibrahimovic.
Trinidad & Tobago: Hislop, Lawrence, Sancho, John, Gray, Birchall, Whitley, Edwards, Jones, John, Yorke.
Referee: Shamsul Maidin (Singapore)