Steven Gerrard to become an England centurion in Sweden


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The Independent Football

Steven Gerrard will win his 100th cap when he captains England against Sweden in Stockholm on Wednesday after Roy Hodgson decided against resting his big names for the friendly.

Despite the hectic Christmas and new year schedule that is coming up, Wayne Rooney will also be part of the squad named this morning by Hodgson for the inaugural game at the new Friends Arena in the city, while Arsenal right-back Carl Jenkinson is set to be called up for his first England squad.

The Football Association only realised at the last minute during the last international week that Jenkinson needed Fifa clearance to play for the national team having represented Finland at Under-21 level.

Raheem Sterling, who also qualifies to play for Jamaica, is also likely to be named as part of an original England squad for the first time. The 17-year-old was a late call-up for the World Cup qualifier against Ukraine in September before Stuart Pearce named him in his Under-21 set-up for the double header against Serbia last month.

The big questions for Hodgson has been whether to select Jack Wilshere, who has not appeared for England since June last year, having now played three games for Arsenal since his return from long-term injury. Wilshere, 20, completed his first full 90 minutes since his return in Arsenal's 2-2 draw with Schalke on Tuesday night.

Wilshere said: "It's up to the England manager. I am sure he will speak to the boss [Arsène Wenger], and the boss and the England manager know best. If they want me to play, I'll play. If they decide it's best for me to rest, then I will rest."

The midfielder was on the sidelines for 17 months after suffering ankle, heel and knee injuries and his stage of rehabilitation will be considered.

Wilshere said: "Am I going to come back to the level that I was at before? Hopefully, now I can get back to training well. Every day I need to work hard and get back up to the level I was at."

Gerrard will become just the sixth England international to win a century of caps after Peter Shilton, David Beckham, Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton and Billy Wright. Ashley Cole, also currently on 99 caps, is likely to miss the game through injury.