Steven Gerrard challenges Daniel Sturridge to shine for England against Germany
Steven Gerrard wants Daniel Sturridge to show he is a 'top-class' striker by firing England to victory against Germany.
Last Updated: 21/11/13 10:21am
Sturridge has been cleared to face the Germans, despite concerns over a thigh injury, and will be hoping to replicate his red-hot Liverpool form at international level.
The 24-year-old has already scored 11 goals this season, including one in England's win over Montenegro, and club team-mate Gerrard has told Sturridge to stake his claim for a regular starting role at Wembley.
"The stage is set for Daniel to go on and prove to everyone that he's a top-class forward," said the England captain, who will equal the number of caps won by Bobby Moore against Germany.
"You talk about his partnership with Wayne Rooney. The difference is Wayne's done it, Daniel's got to go and do it now. He's certainly got the talent."
Gerrard has been hugely impressed with Sturridge since he arrived at Anfield from Chelsea in January and believes he can become one of the country's most prolific scorers.
"No-one is a bigger fan of Daniel than me," said Gerrard.
"He is one of the most naturally-gifted players this country has produced in a long time. His goal record is fantastic.
"I had seen bits of him before but having played and trained with him, he has gone up in my estimations.
"It's important to have him fit and available as I know he can do a lot of damage."
Sturridge starts alongside Rooney in attack for only the fourth occasion, but Hodgson expects the duo to forge a fruitful partnership ahead of next summer's World Cup.
"I'm probably looking forward to it more than the German defence will be," he said.
"I do think those two players could carry a lot of responsibility going forward for our attacking threat, because they've such enormous potential.
"Hopefully there will be others breathing down their necks but I was really happy with those last two qualifying games when the pressure was on us and we had to get results.
"They did well for us and it will be nice to see them play against Germany, even though I don't envisage them playing 90 minutes."