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Hodgson backs Carroll to lead the line

by Sean Goff | May 25, 2012

Andy Carrol

He may not always toe the line but Newcastle’s (former) favourite son Andy Carroll is set to lead the line for England against Norway on Saturday night.

A new manager, a new captain and now a new striker as Carroll looks likely to get the vote from Hodgson ahead of Euro 2012.

The much-maligned forward is set to paly just his second competitive game for England away to Norway as Hodgson faces a race against time to name a recognised striker to replace Wayne Rooney. Rooney will miss the first two games of Euro 2012 after a two-match ban.

Carroll is a currently 50/1 shot with Paddy Power  in the Top goalscorers market for Euro 2012.

SOCCER: Euro 2012 golden boot

The £50m Liverpool striker has played just one minute of competitive international football in three appearances for England, scoring in the 1-1 draw against Ghana in a friendly last year. Rooney’s Manchester United club-mate Danny Welbeck was favourite to replace him in these warm-up matches but Welbeck has not trained properly since picking up an injury in the Manchester derby last month.

Spurs’ Jermaine Defoe, who has 46 caps, has not played for his national side in 15 months.

Meanwhile, Robbie Keane will lead a patched-up Ireland side against Bosnia-Hertzegovina in Dublin on Saturday afternoon.

The LA Galaxy striker is  looking to build on his 53 international goals tally. Keane scored seven goals in qualifying, ahead of Kevin Doyle and Aiden McGeady who scored two each, and struck three times at the 2002 World Cup, Ireland’s last visit to a tournament final.

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