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Hodgson's confidence in Carroll ahead of Norway test

Andy Carroll has scored 11 goals in 56 games for Liverpool and one goal in three games for England. Photo: Anthony Devlin / Sean Dempsey

Roy Hodgson will offer Andy Carroll first shot at leading England's Euro 2012 attack in Norway tonight.

With Wayne Rooney absent and Manchester United team-mate Danny Welbeck injured, Carroll has been handed a starting spot in Oslo, knowing if he matches Hodgson's lofty expectations, he will surely keep his place for the European Championship opener against France in Donetsk on June 11.

"I'm expecting what I saw from him in the latter stages of the season with Liverpool," said Hodgson.

"Against top class teams, he played really well.

"He was extremely active and caused amazing problems for the centre-backs he played against, not just with his strength, but also his running power.

"I expect a lot from him."

Rooney is missing from the first two games at Euro 2012 and Welbeck is not certain to be there at all.

The United man has still not recovered from the ankle injury he sustained in the Manchester derby on April 30.

Hodgson with Steven Gerrard this week (left), and Hodgson with England due Gerrard and Carroll while he was Liverpool manager in 2010. Credit: ike Egerton/EMPICS Sport / Martin Rickett / PA Wire

And, whilst Hodgson has been advised the 21-year-old should be fit before the real action starts, Welbeck has been summoned to England's Watford training base along with Glen Johnson on Monday for medical tests just 24 hours before England have to confirm their 23-man travelling party.

"I'm hoping I'm not taking an 80% fit striker. I'm counting on Welbeck being fully fit," added Hodgson.

"You employ doctors, physios and experts and you value their opinions. When the opinion is: 'Don't worry, he'll be fit and okay', you have to accept that.

"We have a couple more days and there is an element of risk involved. But we don't have other alternatives of the Welbeck type."

Hodgson has lost one player, third-choice keeper John Ruddy, to a broken finger.

Birmingham teenager Jack Butland will not join up as Ruddy's replacement until next week so, with Joe Hart rested, Robert Green will start his first England game since that disastrous World Cup experience against the United States two years ago.

England's defence will include Everton's Phil Jagielka, the defensive stand-by player.

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