Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | England

England obliged to experiment v Sweden



A raft of injury-enforced withdrawals means England coach Roy Hodgson has no choice but to experiment in his side's final game of 2012 away to Sweden on Wednesday.

Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott, Kyle Walker, Aaron Lennon and Jonjo Shelvey all pulled out of the squad on Sunday, after Ashley Cole, Joleon Lescott, James Milner, Frank Lampard and Jack Rodwell had already been declared unavailable.

Hodgson was rebuffed in his attempts to select Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermain Defoe and Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain due to fitness concerns, and having elected to omit midfielders Gareth Barry and Michael Carrick, he finds himself left with an inexperienced squad for the friendly.

The chief beneficiaries are likely to be the newcomers and the players on the periphery of Hodgson's plans for the 2014 World Cup.

Everton midfielder Leon Osman, Arsenal full-back Carl Jenkinson and 20-year-old Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha have all been called up for the first time.

They join Spurs defender Steven Caulker, Chelsea left-back Ryan Bertrand, Stoke City centre-back Ryan Shawcross, Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling and Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster in hoping to be awarded a first cap.

Rooney's withdrawal, after he injured his ankle in Manchester United's 3-2 win at Aston Villa on Saturday, could open the door for Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge to win his first international start.

The former Manchester City striker has started just once for Chelsea this season, with Fernando Torres consistently preferred in attack, and he says he is grateful that Hodgson continues to show faith in him.

"I am thankful for the manager choosing me and giving me the showcase to show what I am capable of," said Sturridge, who has made three substitute appearances for England.

"When he got the job he made it clear it was not always about players who are starting for the team and if he believes in you, he will choose you for his squad."

At the other end of the experience spectrum, Steven Gerrard is set to win his 100th cap when he leads the team out as captain at Stockholm's new Friends Arena.

The Liverpool man will become only the sixth man to reach the 100-cap threshold for England, after Peter Shilton, David Beckham, Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton and Billy Wright.

He could be partnered in midfield by Jack Wilshere, who returns to the fold after a 17-month injury lay-off, although Hodgson has promised Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger that he will use the 20-year-old sparingly.

Hodgson began his coaching career in Sweden, working at Halmstads, Orebro and Malmo, and he led England to a 3-2 win over Wednesday's opponents when they met in the group phase at Euro 2012 in June.

Like England, Sweden have made an unbeaten start to their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign, and with coach Erik Hamren having selected a strong squad, Hodgson says he anticipates a keenly contested match.

"I think the rivalry between Sweden and England has been a fierce one and Sweden have made life very difficult for England over the years," he told FATV.

"Their record against us is very good and they'll certainly be interested on this occasion to get some revenge for the defeat in the Euros."

Sweden's last outing saw them rally from four goals down to draw 4-4 with Germany in an unforgettable encounter in Berlin last month.

Paris Saint-Germain superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the catalyst behind the comeback against the Germans, is expected to start against England, but Hamren has hinted that he will also experiment.

"We have a team that is still inexperienced in a lot of positions," he said.

"To get as much game-time as possible together is the ambition. Now we have a change of stadium and we obviously want to win here, too."

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R152.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
FIFA 14
Xbox 360
R549.00
Mitre Ultimatch Soccer Ball - White
A high quality football, offering high performance at both training and during football matches.
R252.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Live Video Streaming

Serie A: Preview Show - Ep 1 - Season Preview Ep
Thu, 28 Aug @ 05:00
Fri, 29 Aug @ 11:30
Fri, 29 Aug @ 17:00

Sports Talk



Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Spurs will challenge for the title
It was in my room in Rustenburg, during the last Afcon, that I noticed the style that Mauricio...

John Dykes
United in condemnation
The British football press showed tremendous solidarity this week when they all leaped on the same...

Neil Tovey
Borrowing from best practice
The late Irish scribe and poet Oscar Wilde once famously opined that “youth is wasted on the...

Sunday Oliseh
Man U need more than an 'Angel'
Just two games into the English Premier League and Manchester United are five points (synonymous to...

Arjun Vidyarthi
Good signs for the Reds despite loss
A brace from Stevan Jovetic and a Sergio Aguero stunner ensured that Manchester City took all three...

Segun Odegbami
The Falcons - fulfilling Pele’s prophecy?
Did you watch the finals of the Fifa Under-20 Women’s World Cup last Sunday night?