Why Carroll should start for England against Sweden
Why Hodgson needs two strikers against Sweden?
England got off to a solid start with a positive 1-1 draw with France. It was a gritty performance but the key was to not get beaten as it leaves England with a strong chance of qualifying.
Having already shown bravery by handing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain his tournament debut will Roy look to be more adventurous when England take on Sweden tonight. Sweden poses a far weaker threat than France so it may be an opportunity to play two forwards and put them on the back foot. England played well against France but failed to really open up their defence and will need more creativity against the Swedes. Should Roy remain with the system that has guided England to two victories and a draw or play a system that involves more attacking players.
Hodgson has expressed concerns over the fitness of centre midfield pairing Scott Parker and Steven Gerrard. Although Jordan Henderson could replace one of the two, a more positive move would be to play one of the pair and replace the other with Jermain Defoe or Andy Carroll. Moving Ashley Young into a wider position allowing us to create chances from both wings. Since August 2011, England have scored 38% of their goals with headers and this may give Carroll the edge in Hodgson’s mind over Defoe. Carroll showed promise in his one game under Hodgson and he may be an awkward customer for the Swedish centre halves to deal with. If England decide on a second striker and the centre midfield pair are fit who would be dropped? It is being rumoured that young Oxlade-Chamberlain will miss out if Carroll plays.
If we stick with the same philosophy and formation we may end up having to stick a striker on with half an hour to go in order to grab three points. Our defence has proven it is capable of dealing with pressure and as long as Zlatan is kept quiet we should be confident we can keep a clean sheet. Personally, I think we should show intent and play with two forwards along with wingers that can get in behind the full backs. If we manage to grab an early goal it will allow us to retain possession and dictate the pace of the game.
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