The Sports Matrix: Friday 25 May 2012

 

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The Independent Online

In-form Carroll handed Oslo stage to advance claims

The much-maligned Liverpool striker, Andy Carroll, could be handed the leading role for England in tomorrow night's friendly in Norway, putting the seal on a stellar two months.

The 23-year-old had struggled for form since his £35m move from Newcastle 16 months ago, but has since emerged as a potentially key component of Roy Hodgson's plans for next month's European Championship. Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney is suspended for the opening two matches of Euro 2012, while his Old Trafford team-mate, Danny Welbeck, again sat out training yesterday. Tottenham's Jermain Defoe, the only other recognised forward in the squad, has struggled for form of late. MORE

CARROLL'S LATE SEASON RUN:

10 April Scores injury-time winner to secure 3-2 victory at Blackburn

14 April Another late header, against Everton at Wembley, takes Liverpool through to FA Cup final,

5 May Comes off the bench to score consolation in final against Chelsea, and almost forces extra-time

8 May Impresses in 4-1 revenge victory over Chelsea

Celtic trio in pole position for 2020

Turkey's position as favourites to win the bidding for the 2020 Olympics has moved the Celtic bid to host the European Championship in the same year into pole position. If the Turks are awarded the Games they will drop out of bidding for the Euros. MORE

Arsenal star's family stay away

The family of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have become the latest to opt out of travelling to the European Championship over fears of racism from Ukraine fans. Relatives of Arsenal striker Theo Walcott will also stay at home during the tournament. MORE

Martinez in Miami Liverpool talks

Liverpool moved closer to filling their managerial vacancy yesterday after club owners met with Wigan Athletic coach Roberto Martinez. The Spaniard has emerged as favourite following the removal of Andre Villas-Boas from the reckoning. MORE

Fakers could cause tragedy, says Webb

Premier League referee Howard Webb has warned that the advance of play-acting in the game increases the risk of tragedy. "If players cry wolf too many times there is the possibility we will not react in the way we need to," he told a Fifa conference. MORE

Strauss: Players must not speak out

Andrew Strauss says his England players are aware of the dangers of airing their views. "If you sign an England contract you can have opinions on certain things but can't say them publicly," he said. "That's the way it is and there are good reasons for that." MORE

Djokovic full of national pride

Novak Djokovic will be immensely proud to carry the flag for Serbia at the Olympics this summer. "Just the thought of carrying the flag, it's mind-blowing," he said. "It feels incredible. I remember being in Beijing, and how incredible it was." MORE

McDowell guilty after trial by TV

Graeme McDowell fell victim to a TV viewer on the opening day of the PGA Championship. The Ulsterman was adjudged to have made his ball move as he inspected its position in a thicket and was handed a two-shot penalty after failing to report it. MORE

Gleeson and the drugs cover-up

The failed drugs test of Hull's Martin Gleeson last year sparked an avalanche of lies, complacency and confusion among the upper echelons of the sport. Robin Scott-Elliot examines a scandal that is still reverberating more than 12 months on. MORE

Opinion: Ian Bell

I want to be looked upon as a real tough cricketer and someone who is getting stronger all the time. If there was a certain perception of me in world cricket during the early part of my career, I hope it has changed now. MORE

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