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Walcott gunning for new-look Brazil

sports Updated: Feb 06, 2013 00:39 IST

Theo Walcott hopes injuries to strikers Jermain Defoe and Daniel Sturridge will give him a chance to spearhead England's attack in Wednesday's prestige friendly with Brazil at Wembley.

Having been handed opportunities to play as a central forward by Arsenal this season, Walcott has responded with 18 goals to become the club's leading scorer.

The 23-year-old has scored just four goals in 30 games for England, but he believes his club form could persuade national coach Roy Hodgson to hand him the central striking role he covets.

"Things are going quite well for Arsenal on the right but Daniel and Jermain are both out so there is an opportunity (with England)," he said.

"That is the manager's choice. I trained up front today (Monday) with Wayne (Rooney), so you never know.

"I will play anywhere for England and Arsenal but I do believe I'm a striker and I'm sure in the next few years I'll be playing (there) a bit more regularly."

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has also withdrawn from the England squad through injury, although he was not likely to start the game.

Ashley Cole is in line to become only the seventh England player to receive 100 caps, after Peter Shilton, David Beckham, Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton, Billy Wright and Steven Gerrard.

The Chelsea left-back has not always been a popular figure with England fans, but Walcott says he remains a hugely influential member of the changing room.

"Ashley is massively important. He is so experienced and has won many things. A lot of players look up to him," Walcott said.