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Caulker, Osman, Sterling and Forster priced for England starts

| 09.11.2012

Steven Gerrard potentially winning his 100th England cap will rightfully gain the headlines for the friendly with Sweden, but there are five inclusions in Roy Hodgson’s squad at the complete other end of this spectrum.

Hodgson has picked a squad with largely little international experience, but he has stuck with the likes of Gerrard and Wayne Rooney as England bid for a first win in Sweden since 1965.

The signs are that Sweden will be taking the friendly seriously and identifying the winner is not the easiest of tasks, highlighted by both clubs being priced at 6/4 for the victory.

Therefore, it may pay to focus on the specials market for the clash and anticipate which of the England new brigade will go straight into the first team.

Phil Jagielka has started four of England’s last five games and Hodgson may take the chance to trial somebody else alongside Gary Cahill.

Options are thin at centre half and so the 11/10 that Steven Caulker starts could be a price worth taking.

Alternatively, Ryan Shawcross is another option for a maiden England cap.

In midfield, after over 250 appearances for Everton, 31-year-old Leon Osman is finally on the brink of a deserved England cap after countless seasons of consistent performances.

There is a strong possibility that he will get on the pitch at some point in Sweden and 6/4 is the price that he starts, which does seem more unlikely.

At the other end of the age scale and the across the other side of Merseyside, Raheem Sterling has been called up after becoming a 17-year-old first-team regular at Liverpool.

He looks the more likely of the duo to start and this can be backed at 5/4.

Who will start in goal is the other interesting conundrum, given that Joe Hart did not get on in the last friendly against Italy.

Jack Butland started on that occasion, but it is Celtic’s Fraser Forster that may get a chance to stake his claim here after a top-drawer performance against Barcelona in the Champions League.

Forster is 3/1 to get the nod between the sticks, the same price as John Ruddy, with Hart the obvious favourite at 1/2.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.