Raheem Sterling and Leon Osman will start for England against Sweden

Last Updated: 14/11/12 12:42pm

  • Share:
Raheem Sterling: Liverpool youngster will start for England against Sweden

Raheem Sterling: Liverpool youngster will start for England against Sweden

Sky Bet

Roy Hodgson will create a new landmark when he thrusts Leon Osman and Raheem Sterling into the England fray against Sweden in Stockholm on Wednesday evening.

Osman, at 31 years and 181 days and Sterling, at just 17 years and 342 will create the biggest age gap between Three Lions debutants since World War II.

With Tottenham's Steven Caulker included in Hodgson's starting XI as well, his first international appearance since being embroiled in the atrocious scenes after the U21 clash in Serbia, suddenly a late autumn trip to Sweden has taken on greater importance.

"In some of the Liverpool games I have seen, he has pretty much been the star player."
Roy Hodgson

"Steven Caulker and Raheem have been playing regularly for the Under-21s and have made that transition," said Hodgson, who has taken the unusual step of naming his starting XI. "Leon Osman is the odd one out. He has been performing regularly and well for Everton but has been passed over.

"I thought it was time to give him a chance because he has been one of the unsung heroes of a very good football club and a very good football team. He is a very energetic player. And the fact he is 31 surprises me because he plays like a much younger man.

"Let's hope that continues and I won't have to worry about his birth certificate."

If Osman is getting due recognition for his selfless contribution to the Everton cause, it is the man who hails from the other side of Stanley Park who will get all the attention, as Sterling will become England's fifth youngest international.

"In some of the Liverpool games I have seen, he has pretty much been the star player," said Hodgson, who first noticed Sterling properly when he was at Anfield and blooded the youngster in a pre-season match against Borussia Monchengladbach, at which point he was only 15.

"He is extremely dangerous with his ability to run with the ball, his pace and directness. He has even scored one or two important goals. If he can do it on a regular basis for Liverpool in the Premier League I have every right to think he can do it playing for England as well."

England team to play Sweden: Hart (Manchester City), Johnson (Liverpool), Cahill (Chelsea), Caulker (Tottenham), Baines (Everton), Gerrard (Liverpool), Cleverley (Manchester United), Osman (Everton), Sterling (Liverpool), Welbeck (Manchester United), Young (Manchester United).

  • Share:

Related

Sweden v England

Chris Smalling: Praised by England manager Roy Hodgson

Smalling gets Hodgson backing

Roy Hodgson is delighted to have so many good players and says Chris Smalling can become a top-class centre-half.

Wayne Rooney: Backed by Hodgson to perform at his best for England

Hodgson voices Rooney belief

England boss Roy Hodgson is confident Wayne Rooney can perform at his top level for his country.

Jonas Olsson: Glowing tribute to Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Olsson: Give Zlatan credit

Jonas Olsson hopes the goalscoring exploits of Zlatan Ibrahimovic will earn him overdue credit in England.

Related Profiles

Most Popular

Features

Five talking points

Five talking points

We reflect on the big issues arising from Liverpool's thrilling 2-2 draw with Arsenal at Anfield.

Redknapp: Errors deny Liverpool

Redknapp: Errors deny Liverpool

Liverpool’s defensive problems are robbing them of the victories their attacking superiority deserves, says Jamie Redknapp.

'Jenkins can win it'

'Jenkins can win it'

Terry Jenkins can win the World Championship even if he meets Michael van Gerwen, says Rod Harrington.