Strikers battling for starting slot

17 June 2012 11:47

Andy Carroll and Danny Welbeck are both hoping they have earned the right to be Wayne Rooney's strike partner in Tuesday's Euro 2012 group encounter with Ukraine in Donetsk.

Carroll and Welbeck stepped up their claims to play alongside the returning Rooney by netting the first and third goals in Friday night's 3-2 win over Sweden in Kiev. With Roy Hodgson confirming Rooney will be chosen after suspension, it means one of Carroll or Welbeck will probably lose their place in the starting line-up in the Donbass Arena.

Carroll was the more forthright as he said: "I think I put myself about in this game (against Sweden). Now I've just got to do that in training and try and keep my place. Wayne is a fantastic player with great qualities and we need him in the team so we'll just have to wait and see what happens."

He added: "But I would love to play alongside him. Any player would. I have never done that before."

Manchester United striker Welbeck has the advantage of playing with Rooney at club level.

He said: "Wayne is a world-class striker and, once he gets on the pitch, he is going to make a massive difference and that's only going to benefit England.

"It's not for me to pick the team, I'll leave that to the manager but I'll be hoping to be in the team.

"I wouldn't want to be here if I wasn't hoping I wanted to be out on the pitch."

Welbeck's outrageous back heel settled the game against the Swedes, and he said: "I've been in that position plenty of times and you've got to find different ways of putting the ball in the back of the net from there.

"I've done it in training a couple of times so, once the ball came to me, I knew exactly what to do."

Source: PA

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