Liverpool striker to get England nod in crucial Sweden clash

As England boss Roy Hodgson hopes to add potency to his attack, he is set to hand Andy Carroll a start in tonight’s meeting with Sweden, which his side are 6/5 to win.

Carroll failed to make it off the bench in England’s tournament opener, a 1-1 draw with France, as the Three Lions turned in a stern defensive display.

The main criticism of the side’s performance in the aftermath of that impressive result though, was the inability to consistently pose a meaningful threat when in the opposition half.

Hodgson is now hopeful that the addition of the physically imposing Carroll will provide that, as England prepare to take on a side that struggles aerially.

Indeed, six of the last seven goals which Sweden have conceded have been headers, including the two Andriy Shevchenko strikes that condemned them to a 2-1 defeat in their Euro 2012 opener with Ukraine.

It is thought that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will miss out in place of Carroll, and the Liverpool striker’s inclusion will allow Ashley Young and James Milner to operate in orthodox roles on either flank.

A switch to 4-4-2 looks likely, and with it comes the distinct possibility that each of the starting lineup will be played in their favoured, and most natural, position.

With Young in particular looking a terrific outlet out wide, in terms of creating chances, the towering Carroll looks a great prospect at 7/1 to open the scoring tonight.

Elsewhere in the side meanwhile, Glen Johnson is expected to start despite undergoing a course of injections for a toe infection, with back-up right-back Martin Kelly doubtful with a virus.

Scott Parker and captain Steven Gerrard also now look likely to make the starting lineup, after dispelling Hodgson’s earlier fears that they would be too exhausted to play for a second time in four days.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.