Chris Hughton backs Norwich City duo to help Sweden beat Portugal in World Cup play-off clash

Norwich City's Johan Elmander (left )is congratulated by team-mate Martin Olsson after scoring his s

Norwich City's Johan Elmander (left )is congratulated by team-mate Martin Olsson after scoring his side's third goal against Bury during the Canaries' 6-3 Second Round win at Carrow Road earlier this season. Picture: Chris Radburn/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Norwich City manager Chris Hughton is hoping to see two more of his players take a step towards World Cup qualification with their country tonight.

Striker Johan Elmander and full-back Martin Olsson are both in the Sweden squad for the first leg of their qualifying play-off against Portugal in Lisbon tonight.

Hughton knows all about the glamour of the World Cup as he was part of the Republic of Ireland squad during the 1990 tournament in Italy, although didn't get any game time.

The City boss thinks the Swedes stand a good chance of beating Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portugal team-mates, with the second leg in Stockholm on Tuesday.

'With both of these players, particularly with Johan (Elmander) I suppose, if you look at the age Johan is now (32) it would arguably be, even though he is a very fit lad, possibly his last opportunity,' Hughton told Norwich City's official website.

'But I think they have a good chance. They are playing a Portugal side that perhaps haven't hit the heights that they have over recent seasons and there isn't an easy game against Sweden.

'I saw them play against the Republic of Ireland late in the group stages and I thought they were very, very good.

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'And of course for us it's great excitement to have players who are going to play in the World Cup finals.'

Related links

Norwich City full-back Martin Olsson named best Swedish defender at annual awards

Halmstad heroics lead to Swedish striker Mikael Boman being linked with Norwich City transfer

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