Gerrard makes plea to England youngsters

Ahead of Tuesday’s vital World Cup qualifier in Ukraine, England captain Steven Gerrard has urged the youngsters in the squad to prove that they can perform on the international stage, Sky Sports is reporting.

Tottenham’s Kyle Walker and Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, who have only 16 caps between them, are both expected to start in Kiev, and Gerrard, who has 104, has compared their position to the one he was in ahead of the 2002 World Cup qualifier away to Germany, where he scored in a famous 5-1 win.

The 33-year-old said: “For me, Germany away was maybe similar to the position those lads are in now. I was a young age with little experience, and we were playing away from home in a very important qualifier.

I managed to get a goal and play well that night. It certainly propelled me on at international level. This is a fantastic opportunity for the new players. These are the games that get a lot of attention and if you perform well individually you get an awful lot of credit.

Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, who made his debut in Friday’s win over Moldova, his fellow teenager Raheem Sterling, and the uncapped Andros Townsend are also among those who could make an appearance against the Euro 2012 co-hosts.

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