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Friday 25 May 2012

Carroll to start for England in Norway

Coach Roy Hodgson says Liverpool striker to start UEFA 2012 warm-up friendly in Oslo

Liverpool striker Andy Carroll found good form at the end of the 2012/13 season

Liverpool striker Andy Carroll will start England's friendly against Norway in Oslo on Saturday evening, manager Roy Hodgson has confirmed.

At a news conference on Friday, Hodgson also confirmed that Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Scott Parker and keeper Rob Green of promoted West Ham United would also start the match along with Carrol's team-mate, skipper Steven Gerrard.

Hodgson said: "Carroll will start. [He] ended the season well and that was after a difficult start at Liverpool."

"It's nice to be named the official England captain - it's a fresh start with the new manager"
- Steven Gerrard

Carroll is tipped as a replacement for Wayne Rooney during the opening two matches for England when the Manchester United forward will be suspended.

Chelsea's Champions League-winning players are yet to join the squad and Rooney is not involved in the match in Oslo.

"A lot of positions are taken care of as we're still waiting for the Chelsea players and of course Wayne.

"I know what I am going to do, but I haven't told the players yet. The back four takes care of itself, Rob Green will be in goal and Steven will start as captain."

Honoured

Liverpool skipper Gerrard said he was honoured to take the armband for the national team and said he wanted to excel in the role.

"It's nice to be named the official England captain. It's a fresh start with the new England manager," he said.

"I want to be remembered as a successful captain. It's something you dream of when you're a boy."

"Roy has proven that his teams are really hard to play against"
- Brede Hangeland

"We have got to go [to Euro 2012] and give it our best. You don't have to be favourites.

"To perform better than we did in South Africa [in the 2010 World Cup] is the challenge."

Meanwhile, Hodgson has been backed by Fulham's Norwegian international Brede Hangeland, who played under the England coach at Craven Cottage.

"At Fulham, West Brom and various other jobs he's done, he's proven that his teams are really hard to play against and really well organised," he said.

"If he can do the same with the England team, with all their strong players, they should be strong at the European Championship."

England begin their Euro 2012 campaign against France on Monday June 11th, then play Sweden on June 15th and finish their Group D campaign against Ukraine on June 19th.

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Key Points

  • Andy Carroll to start for England in friendly in Norway on Saturday
  • Steven Gerrard, Rob Green and Scott Parker also start
  • Brede Hangeland says Hodgson's teams are always tough to beat