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Wilshere back in England fold

Jack Wilshere has the chance to rebuild his England career after being named in the squad for next week's friendly against Sweden.

Last Updated: 08/11/12 at 15:56 Post Comment   

Jack Wilshere: Has played only three first-team games in more than a year

Jack Wilshere: Has played only three first-team games in more than a year

The Arsenal midfielder has played only three first-team games since returning from 16 months out with ankle, foot and knee problems and last featured for his country in June 2011.

Arsene Wenger had previously said he would ask Roy Hodgson if the 20-year-old could "skip" Wednesday's fixture, designed to mark the opening of Sweden's new national stadium, the 50,100-capacity Friends Arena.

But his red card at Manchester United last weekend means he will miss Saturday's visit of Fulham and has eased Wenger's fears that two games within five days would prove too gruelling.

There is a first international call-up for Everton's Leon Osman at the age of 31, while Arsenal full-back Carl Jenkinson will join the squad once his international clearance comes through and Steven Gerrard will skipper the side.

Gerrard will become only the sixth England player to reach 100 caps and is accompanied by Liverpool team-mates Raheem Sterling and Jonjo Shelvey in the 23-strong group.

But the other member of the 99-cap club, Ashley Cole, is among those who miss out through injury, with Chelsea team-mate Frank Lampard and Manchester City trio Jack Rodwell, Joleon Lescott and James Milner also sidelined.

Hodgson's squad will meet on Sunday and train in Manchester before flying to Stockholm.

England squad to face Sweden: Hart, Ruddy, Forster; Baines, Bertrand, Cahill, Caulker, Jagielka, G Johnson, Shawcross, Walker; Cleverley, Gerrard, A Lennon, Osman, Shelvey, Sterling, Walcott, Wilshere, Ashley Young; Rooney, Sturridge, Welbeck.

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

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