Carroll to get England opportunity

Carroll to get England opportunity

Published Jun. 15, 2012 1:00 a.m. ET

Andy Carroll is expected to start for England against Sweden on Friday at the expense of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The 23-year-old Liverpool striker has only one minute of competitive international experience with England but will be thrown in against the Swedes in order to take advantage of a perceived aerial weakness.

Both Ukraine's goals against Sweden in their Group D opener came when Andriy Shevchenko converted crosses with his head to turn the game around in Kiev.

So Roy Hodgson plans to reshuffle his team, switching Ashley Young to the left wing with Carroll partnering Danny Welbeck in a 4-4-2 formation - and Oxlade-Chamberlain missing out.


The news will disappoint the Arsenal youngster who made an encouraging competitive debut himself against France on Monday, in what is expected to be Hodgson's only change.

But whoever walks out for the Three Lions in Kiev, Hodgson is hoping for supporters to show continued patience with his side.

"One would hope people will be patient," he said.

"I am satisfied with what I think we are achieving only three weeks into the job.

"Maybe I can't satisfy everyone and other people would like to see more.

"I am realistic and pragmatic. Five, six or seven training sessions into the job we are making a fist of it.

"I am sure we will get better. Just a simple thing like the return of Wayne Rooney will make us into a stronger team and a bigger threat."

Rooney is missing for the game, completing the final game of his two-match suspension.

Even so, the England boss does not expect Sweden to underestimate his team. In fact, he believes Friday's opponents will be playing with extra motivation.

"I would be surprised if teams weren't taking England seriously," said Hodgson.

"We will never be taken lightly, not least because of the quality of the Premier League and the famous names in there.

"To some extent we run the risk of a country like Sweden, who spend a lot of their time watching the Premier League, getting extra motivation to beat us because they like to show these highly-paid superstars are no better than their own players."