Hodgson: Sterling has been Liverpool star this season

England coach Roy Hodgson says Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling deserves his start tonight against Sweden.

In a difficult first season on Merseyside from Brendan Rodgers, Sterling has provided a dazzling ray of light.

"In some of the Liverpool games I have seen, he has pretty much been the star player," said Hodgson, who first noticed Sterling properly when he was at Anfield and blooded the youngster in a pre-season match against Borussia Monchengladbach, at which point he was only 15.

"He is extremely dangerous with his ability to run with the ball, his pace and directness. He has even scored one or two important goals.

"If he can do it on a regular basis for Liverpool in the Premier League, I have every right to think he can do it playing for England as well."

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