Sweden.

Osman, 31, will join up with the senior squad for the first time, whilst Sterling will be making his second appearance with the Three Lions after being called up earlier this season, although he failed to make it onto the field.

The selection of the Everton man in particular raised eyebrows, but Hodgson insists he has full confidence in the midfielder:

“Leon is a player who I’ve admired since I came back to Fulham five years ago. He’s always done extremely well whenever I’ve played Everton or watched Everton.” He told SkySports.

“Of course, he’s faced great competition in the position that he plays but, on this occasion, we’ve got the opportunity and the space to bring Leon into the team.”

Sterling’s inclusion has also surprised a few onlookers, with some suggesting he is only involved to prevent him representing Jamaica, the country he was born in, later in his career.

But, the England boss stated that the 17-year-old has earned his place in the squad:

“He’s in the squad on merit and because I think he’s done extremely well for Liverpool,” said the manager. “He burst onto the scene at the start of the season and has been ever-present in the Liverpool team in recent games, playing a very exciting part.

“It has nothing to do with him being courted by anybody else. My views on that subject are clear, as far as I’m concerned a player should have the right to choose who he wants to play for.”

 

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