Rooney alone up front, Carrick starts

June 25, 2006

STUTTGART, June 25 (Reuters) - Midfielder Michael Carrick will make his competitive England debut and Wayne Rooney will be a lone striker in Sunday's World Cup second round clash with Ecuador.

Carrick, with only six previous caps in friendlies, was given the holding role in a five-man midfield to allow Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard to get forward.

With Michael Owen back home with a ruptured cruciate ligament and Rooney uncertain to last the full 90 minutes, let alone extra time, coach Sven-Goran Eriksson will keep Peter Crouch and Theo Walcott on the bench.

Ecuador have reverted to the side who beat Costa Rica 3-0 to book their place in the last 16.

Coach Luis Fernando Suarez made five changes to that team for the 3-0 defeat by Germany in their last match in Group A.

Defenders Ivan Hurtado and Neicer Reasco, midfielder Segundo Castillo and strikers Agustin Delgado and Carlos Tenorio all return.

England team to play Ecuador: Robinson, Hargreaves, Ferdinand, Terry, A Cole, Carrick, Beckham, Gerrard, Lampard, J Cole, Rooney.