Steven Gerrard cleared to play for England against Sweden

Gerrard Euro 2012

Steven Gerrard is free to win his 100th England cap after being passed fit to lead out England in Wednesday's friendly to open Sweden's new international stadium.

Gerrard needed lengthy treatment to his knee during Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Sunday and was sent for a scan on Monday after joining up with the rest of Roy Hodgson's squad.

Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager, had feared Gerrard might have suffered minor ligament damage but the x-rays have shown there is no problem, meaning the midfielder will become the sixth player to join England's 100 Club behind Billy Wright, Sir Bobby Charlton, Sir Bobby Moore, Peter Shilton and David Beckham.

Hodgson's team will have an experimental look for the opening of the 65,000-capacity Friends Arena, with Liverpool's 17-year-old attacker Raheem Sterling not just in contention to win his first cap but also to play from the start.

The manager's early thinking is not to start with Jack Wilshere, making allowance for the fact the Arsenal midfielder has only just returned from a 17-month layoff and has to be used sparingly.

In attack, Wilfried Zaha's inclusion is in place of the injured Wayne Rooney, with only two other strikers, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck, in the squad.

The Football Association, meanwhile, has announced it is to hold an annual awards night to recognise players from the different England men's and women's teams.

Supporters will be able to vote in 11 different categories, with the inaugural event to take place at St George's Park on 3 February as part of the FA's 150th anniversary year. As well as the player categories, the FA's chairman, David Bernstein, will present a lifetime achievement award.

Powered by article was written by Daniel Taylor, for The Guardian on Monday 12th November 2012 18.38 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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