10/08/2012 13:05, Report by Adam Bostock
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Carrick's England recall

Michael Carrick's fine 2011/12 campaign for Manchester United has been acknowledged by England boss Roy Hodgson with a call-up for the 15 August friendly against Italy.

The midfielder is one of three Reds on the 22-man list, with Tom Cleverley coming in from his Olympic exploits with Team GB and Ashley Young retained following Euro 2012.

Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck are among the England regulars omitted from the squad this time around - Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard being another - with Hodgson explaining, "You don't get many chances when you've got a fairly settled squad of players to look at other potential candidates so this friendly gives me the ideal opportunity." The strikers selected instead are Liverpool's Andy Carroll, Tottenham's Jermain Defoe, Daniel Sturridge of Chelsea and Arsenal star Theo Walcott.

This is the first time Carrick has been called up by England since 2010, the year he went to the World Cup finals in South Africa as an unused squad player.

"I was never really close to playing [during the 2010 World Cup]," said Carrick last month. "That was a hard time."

Explaining why he preferred not to be named as a standby player for Euro 2012, he added: "I just thought if it was going to be the same scenario again, I'd rather let someone else go in my place."

England's midweek meeting with the Italians in Berne, Switzerland at the Stade de Suisse comes less than 72 hours before the 2012/13 Barclays Premier League season kicks off, but at least the United contingent can rest for a couple of extra days before opening the campaign at Everton on Monday, 20 August.

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