England fly in to take on Sweden in curtain-raiser at Friends Arena... but half the stadium is still a building site!
It is less than 36 hours until England face Sweden in the official opening of the new Friends Arena in Stockholm — but half the stadium is still in rubble.
As this picture shows, one side of the stadium is still a building site and signs even warn pedestrians of ‘controlled explosions’ going on in the area.
Builders are everywhere and there are cranes and containers all around the stadium and surrounding district.
Is that it? Sportsmail's Matt Barlow took this picture, showing half of the Friends Arena stadium in Stokholm in rubble
Rough, but ready: The stadium's exterior looks in need of some work before the stadium is complete
Inside the ground, the building work is all-but completed (save for a few finishing touches to the advertising hoarding) but outside there is chaos.
This stadium has been built to replace the old national stadium the Rasunda Stadium, which hosted the 1958 World Cup final.
The Arena has been built in a brand new development in the Solna district.
There are still no signs to offer any of the expected 50,000 crowd any clue where to go and parts of the stadium are clearly not ready to be used for Wednesday night’s match.
Stage is set: The inside of the 50,000-seater stadium looked polished and ready to host Wednesday's friendly when this photo was taken this afternoon
Immaculate: The Sweden team train inside the stadium yesterday, which looks fit for purpose for Wednesday's clash
Test run: The Sweden players trained underneath the retractable roof in the 50,000-seater stadium
Though winter is approaching quickly in Scandinavia, the players won’t need any gloves or hats because the 50,000-seat stadium’s retractable roof will be closed, and the temperature inside is likely to reach 20 degrees.
The embarrassing scenes that saw England’s World Cup qualifier against Poland called off for flooding will not be repeated.
Messy: Building materials can be seen left lying around in this part of the Friends Arena
The Friends Arena is replacing the soon-to-be demolished Rasunda Stadium, the home of Sweden for 75 years. Sweden also hosted England when Rasunda was inaugurated in 1937. England won 4-0 after three first-half goals by Fred Steele.
England also won the last encounter between them, in the group stage of the European Championship in June, rallying to a 3-2 victory that eliminated Sweden.
Ready lads? Wilfried Zaha (right) and Raheem Sterling (left) flew out to Stockholm with the England team from Manchester Airport today
New boy: Zaha is still undecided whether he will choose England or the Ivory Coast to play competitive international football for
Most watched Sport videos
- Anthony Joshua shares video of himself using a squat machine
- Cameroon players celebrate winning Africa Cup of Nations
- Didier Droga marvels at Kurt Zouma's 'back six pack'
- Vincent Kompany visits a City fan with terminal throat cancer
- Spurs Harry Kane offers some finishing coaching to amateurs
- Tom Brady reflects on record-breaking fifth Super Bowl win
- Pep Guardiola 'I think in 90 minutes we deserved to win'
- Alastair Cook resigns: His England captaincy in numbers
- Mourinho 'We played solid, we played good football'
- Lady Gaga wows audience at Super Bowl half-time show
- Premier League Round Up: Chelsea go nine points clear at the top
- Abusive fare dodger takes running kick at rail staff