'I'd love to play alongside Rooney' - Carroll determined to retain place in England starting XI

The Liverpool forward netted the opening goal in the 3-2 win over Sweden and hopes he's done enough to merit a place in the starting XI for the group decider against the co-hosts

England striker Andy Carroll believes his performance against Sweden was good enough to ensure he keeps his place in the starting line-up for Tuesday’s clash with Ukraine.

With Wayne Rooney set to come straight into the team following his two-game suspension, it is likely Carroll or strike partner Danny Welbeck will have to make way.

Rob Stewart | England Expert

They say timing is everything and having gone from Liverpool zero to England hero, Andy Carroll's resurgence augurs well for his country's quest for Euro 2012 glory.

A striker routinely hailed as “unplayable” when he is on form due to his aerial prowess showed those descriptions were apt against Sweden.

Now with Wayne Rooney on the way back, Carroll can be the perfect foil for the Manchester United forward and fellow Red Devil Danny Welbeck.

It would be pure folly by Roy Hodgson to drop Carroll when he is in such imposing form.

However, as Rooney has formed solid partnerships with Ashley Young and Welbeck while playing with them at club level for Manchester United, the obvious casualty from the team would appear to be the Liverpool forward.

But Carroll wants Roy Hodgson to select his team on merit, and believes his bullet header that opened the scoring in the Sweden match proved he is worth a place in the starting XI.

Carroll told The Mail on Sunday: “'I think I put myself about in the game against Sweden. Now I've just got to do that in training and try to keep my place.

“Obviously, Wayne is a fantastic player with great qualities and we need him in the team. I would love to play alongside him - any player would - and I've never had that chance before.”

The former Newcastle man praised the delivery of his club and international team-mate Steven Gerrard, who set up that opening goal against the Swedes.

Carroll explained: “It was a great ball in by Stevie and I just had to get my head on it and get it on target.

“I thought it was a great win. We stuck together as a team. We got the three points, which is what mattered. We showed what we're about after we went behind and came back really well.”