Roy Hodgson speaks to FATV about his squad selection for Sweden
By Nicholas Veevers
Roy Hodgson believes he has a perfect blend in his squad for next week's trip to Sweden.
The England Manager has selected a 23-man group for the game in Stockholm, including a first call-up for Everton midfielder Leon Osman and a return for Arsenal's Jack Wilshere after his recovery from injury.
And there is also a place in the squad for Liverpool youngster Raheem Sterling, following his call-up as a replacement against Ukraine earlier this season and his continued good form at Anfield.
He told FATV: "It's an interesting and nicely balanced squad I think.
"There are some young players and one or two new players that we would like to look at, such as Leon Osman and Raheem Sterling.
"It's good to have Ashley Young back, who has been missing for a long time and Jack Wilshere is back, who has been missing even longer.
"There are a good group of senior players in there, not least Steven Gerrard who is going to play his 100th game and captain the team."
31-year-old Osman will join up with an England senior squad for the first time in his career, after previously representing England U16s in the 1997-98 season.
His consistent form at Goodison Park has always caught Hodgson's eye and he felt now was a good time to welcome him into the squad.
"He's a player that 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 added.
"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 eyecatching displays have seen him propelled from the England U19 squad in September, into the Under-21s and now a first full senior call-up.
And with rumours that Jamaica are making moves to try and select him, Hodgson believes his call-up for England is well deserved.
He said: "He's in the squad on merit and because I think he's done extremely well for Liverpool. He burst onto the scene at the start of the season and has been ever-present in the Liverpool team in recent games and has played a very exciting part.
"It has nothing to do with him being courted by anybody else (Jamaica). 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.
"But it would seem to me, having played at every level for England so far, it must be Raheem's hope that he's going to represent his country at national team level and he's on the threshold of doing that at the moment.
"And he's doing it because he's there on merit as one of the better players that we have in England at this time."
Watch the full interview with Roy below.