Paper Round: Welbeck set to play

Danny Welbeck will be selected up front for England over Andy Carroll for the Euro 2012 opener against France, the back pages claim.

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The shape of Roy Hodgson’s team for Monday’s Group D clash is becoming clearer, with Stewart Downing and James Milner set to get the nod on the left and right wing respectively.

England’s open training session in Krakow was a curious affair, with just 13 players taking part in a full session.

None of Steven Gerrard, Theo Walcott, Scot Parker, Joleon Lescott, John Terry, Glen Johnson, Milner, Joe Hart and Ashley Cole completed the session.

Almost every journalist reported from the session that Welbeck has got the nod for his country. The 21-year-old made Hodgson take note with a goal against Belgium in England’s last game, and it is believed that he has now dislodged Carroll as first-choice striker.

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Yesterday he linked up with suspended Wayne Rooney in a short game, while Carroll played in front of Ashley Young.

The Daily Star whip themselves into a frenzy about the Lescott injury fear, worrying about Hodgson’s defensive options if he and John Terry, England’s now-preferred central defensive pairing, are both unable to play.

One defender who it might be useful to have around, Rio Ferdinand, has meanwhile conceded that his international career looks to be over.

While vowing not to retire from international football, Ferdinand admitted: "If I'm not getting picked now, especially when people are out injured, then it's unlikely I will be picked again."

In other Euro 2012 news, Xavi has hinted at fractures in the Spain camp between Real Madrid and Barcelona players with some barbed comments about Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola.

“Mourinho won’t go down in football history,” said Xavi in quotes picked up by The Daily Telegraph. “For me Guardiola is the best, and he has been during the four years he’s been in charge at Barça, because he’s revolutionised football.

“Barça continue to be the reference point for football the world over. Barça has also been an example, Madrid not so much. They’ve only recognised that we were better when we won.

"We’ve always been respectful, but they haven’t been so gracious. It’s a personal feeling.”

And Denmark have been rocked by a mystery injury to Niki Zimling, according to the Daily Express.

Zimling was taken from training in an ambulance, but it was not immediately clear why the midfielder had broken down.

It's customary for players at the Euros to be immediately linked with moves to England, and one such example is Netherlands midfielder Kevin Strootman, who the Daily Mirror claim is on the radar of Manchester United.

Sir Alex Ferguson is prepared to splash out £14m to bring the PSV man to Old Trafford, and as well as the 22-year-old, a £4m deal has reportedly been agreed for Crewe starlet Nick Powell.

Some interesting names have been mentioned for the Swansea manager's job, and the latest to that list is Michael Laudrup.

The Daily Mail make him the favourite for the job, and the Dane has management experience with Real Mallorca, Spartak Moscow, Getafe and Brondby already under his belt.

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