Zlatan in barb at Three Lions’ dearth of skill

SWEDEN captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic has given England added incentive to win tonight's Stockholm friendly, after depicting Roy Hodgson's men as having "big hearts" and "always fighting" but lacking the skill required for international level.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward, who has already netted nine goals this season, delivered the slight while praising England skipper Steven Gerrard, who is poised to win his 100th cap.

"[Gerrard] is a very good person to have as a team-mate in your team," said Ibrahimovic.

"He always gives 200 per cent, is a good fighter and has good skills and a good touch with the ball also. He feels more like an international player rather than a normal English player. English players have big hearts, always fighting, very aggressive, but for me Gerrard feels more international. He has more skills than the normal player."

Ibrahimovic will be confident of an upset against England, having scored in Sweden's sensational comeback from 4-0 down to draw 4-4 against Germany in their World Cup qualifier last month.

The 31-year-old has a prolific international record, scoring 35 in 84 appearances, and played when England beat Sweden 3-2 at Euro 2012 earlier this year.