Gerrard set to join select England club

Steven Gerrard will become sixth player to win 100 caps for England if he makes appearance against Sweden in friendly.

    Gerrard set to join select England club
    Gerrard's return boosts an England team struggling for fitness after five withdrawals from friendly [AP]

    England captain Steven Gerrard has been passed fit for Wednesday's friendly against Sweden after a scan on his knee and is set to become the sixth Englishman to win 100 caps.

    Gerrard took a knock during Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday but the English Football Association said the midfielder would travel.

    "Steven Gerrard has been cleared to travel with the England squad to Sweden having undergone a precautionary scan on Monday afternoon," the FA said on their website.

    The news will come as a relief to manager Roy Hodgson, whose squad has been depleted by the withdrawals of five players including Wayne Rooney and Theo Walcott.

    "It's fantastic, there's only a select band that has managed to do it and he certainly deserves to be in that crew. He is a
    fantastic player and leader of men"

    Everton player Leon Osman

    Gerrard's 17-year-old Liverpool team mate Raheem Sterling could win his first cap, as could Everton's Leon Osman, 31.

    Osman, who played for England as a schoolboy, was a surprise inclusion in the squad, but told reporters while he was looking forward to winning his first cap he was delighted his old rival Gerrard was about to join the century club.

    "It's fantastic, there's only a select band that has managed to do it and he certainly deserves to be in that crew. He is a fantastic player and leader of men.

    "I think we first played against each other when we were about 12 or 13 years of age on Merseyside and to now see him get his 100th cap is fantastic, but not surprising."

    The only other men to play 100 times for England are Peter Shilton (125), David Beckham (115), Bobby Moore (108), Bobby Charlton (106) and Billy Wright (105).

    England ended a 43-year jinx, one of the longest in international soccer, when they beat Sweden 1-0 in a friendly at Wembley a year ago before following that up with a thrilling 3-2 win at Euro 2012.

    Sweden though are often a hard nut to crack as Germany found a month ago when Erik Hamren's team came back from 4-0 down to draw 4-4 in a World Cup qualifier in Berlin.

    Seemingly dead and buried, Sweden replied with goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Mikael Lustig, Johan Elmander and Rasmus Elm in stoppage time to force an incredible draw.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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