All eyes on Steven Gerrard, Raheem Sterling, Leon Osman & Wilfried Zaha
Last Updated: November 14, 2012 6:30pm
It promises to be a night of landmarks for England when they take on Sweden in a friendly international in Stockholm on Wednesday night.
Steven Gerrard's 100th cap and debuts for Raheem Stirling, Wilfried Zaha, Steven Caulker and Leon Osman have added significance to the game at the official opening of the Friends Arena.
Roy Hodgson, who enjoyed a successful club management career in Sweden, has seen captain Gerrard pass a precautionary scan on his knee and the midfielder will take his place in the first XI and become an England centurion.
The Liverpool skipper will be just the sixth player to join Peter Shilton, David Beckham, Bobby Moore, Sir Bobby Charlton and Billy Wright in the exclusive club.
Gerrard's 100th cap is in contrast to 17-year-old Stirling and 31-year-old Osman, who will be earning their respective firsts in the biggest age gap between England debutants since World War II.
Crystal Palace starlet Zaha is likely to feature for his own debut in the second half amid a lot of excitement about the forward's future.
Zaha's inclusion, though, could also be seen as an indication England boss Hodgson is having to look to the Championship to find players who are earning regular first-team opportunities.
Hodgson will also know, amid all the hype about new players, there is a game to be won and he will want a repeat of the victory over Sweden from the group stages of Euro 2012.
That 3-2 success was slightly more dramatic than the boss would have liked but any victory in Stockholm would end England's long wait for a win in Sweden, which dates back to 1965.
Hodgson has taken the unusual step of already naming his starting XI and it includes Tottenham Hotspur centre-back Caulker alongside Gary Cahill, Glen Johnson and Leighton Baines in defence.
Gerrard and Osman are expected to sit in deep midfield, with the trio of Sterling, Tom Cleverley and Ashley Young supporting main striker Danny Welbeck.
Sweden coach Erik Hamren will have star man Zlatan Ibrahimovic in his attacking options while West Bromwich Albion defender Jonas Olsson and Blackburn Rovers' Martin Olsson will also be familiar faces.
Steven Gerrard is 11/4 to mark his 100th cap by scoring with Raheem Sterling 5/1 to find the net on his international debut, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic is recognised as Sweden's biggest threat as the 5/1 favourite to break the deadlock.
Possible starting line-ups:
Sweden: Isaksson, Lustig, J.Olsson, Granqvist, M.Olsson, Elm, Kallstrom, Larsson, Berg, Ibrahimovic, Kacaniklic.
England: Hart, Johnson, Cahill, Caulker, Baines, Gerrard, Osman, Sterling, Cleverley, Young, Welbeck.
Wed 14th Nov
South Korea1 - 2Australia
China1 - 1New Zealand
Armenia4 - 2Lithuania
Russia2 - 2USA
Bulgaria0 - 1Ukraine
Czech Rep3 - 0Slovakia
Cyprus0 - 3Finland
Saudi Arabia0 - 0Argentina
Liechtenstein0 - 1Malta
Andorra0 - 2Iceland
Israel1 - 2Belarus
Romania2 - 1Belgium
Chile1 - 3Serbia
Turkey1 - 1Denmark
Luxembourg1 - 2Scotland
Sweden4 - 2England
Netherlands0 - 0Germany
Gabon2 - 2Portugal
Austria0 - 3Ivory Coast
Hungary0 - 2Norway
Rep Ireland0 - 1Greece
Poland1 - 3Uruguay
Italy1 - 2France
Panama1 - 5Spain
Sweden v England
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England boss Roy Hodgson is confident Wayne Rooney can perform at his top level for his country.
Jonas Olsson hopes the goalscoring exploits of Zlatan Ibrahimovic will earn him overdue credit in England.
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- Gerrard hails striker's class
- Four-goal Ibra stuns England
- Gerrard content at Liverpool
- Simply ton-derful
- The full English
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