Liverpool revival can rub off on England, says Steven Gerrard
Reuters in London
England can benefit from the feelgood factor generated by Liverpool’s Premier League title challenge, captain Steven Gerrard said in tipping flying winger Raheem Sterling to make his international mark.
The five-strong Liverpool contingent – Gerrard, Sterling, Glen Johnson, Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson – could all feature when England host Denmark in a friendly at Wembley on Wednesday.
Liverpool’s impressive form has lifted them into second place, four points behind leaders Chelsea, amid growing expectation they have a chance of lifting their first title since 1990.
Gerrard said the confidence at the Anfield club was bound to rub off on England as they continue their World Cup preparations.
“There is a great feeling back at Liverpool, we’re really happy with where we’re sitting in the table and the feeling’s great," Gerrard said.
“Everyone’s in good form and feeling very confident and hopefully if the lads are selected they can bring those performances to Wembley tomorrow.”
England fans should savour the prospect of Sterling running at the Danish defence, Gerrard said.
The 19-year-old was named in the England senior squad for the first time since making his debut against Sweden in November 2012.
He scored twice in the 5-1 demolition of Arsenal at Anfield last month and netted with his first touch in front of watching England manager Roy Hodgson after coming on as a substitute in the 3-0 win over Southampton on Saturday.
“The form he is in at the moment – he’s the type of player you pay good money to go and see... the type of player that will get you off your seat,” Gerrard said.
“People looking at Raheem see him as a very small boy, see him maybe as a weak player. But he’s the complete opposite. He’s very strong, very robust and the pace he has got is electric.
“He’s going to be a big player for this country for a long time. I’m just glad he’s a red.”
Tottenham Hostpur defender Kyle Walker has been ruled out with a hip injury so Hodgson said Liverpool’s Johnson would win his 50th international cap at right back.
“Glen’s a top right back, he’s a big athlete and has been consistent for England for quite a while,” Gerrard said.
Hodgson will rest left back Leighton Baines so he can run the rule over the experienced Ashley Cole and uncapped 18-year-old Luke Shaw as options for his World Cup squad.
“It’s the right moment to look at one of, or both, Luke and Ashley,” said Hodgson. “Unless we get an incredible number of injuries, Leighton won’t feature.”