x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Carrick relishes chance

The Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick is desperate to make an impression in the friendly against Germany in Berlin.

The Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick is desperate to make an impression in tonight's friendly against Germany at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. The absence of big names like Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard through injury has given the coach Fabio Capello the chance to run the rule over several other players as he looks to build for the future.

And Carrick, who is set for his 15th cap, but first since the friendly with Germany at Wembley 15 months ago, is determined to take his chance. He said: "We have the chance to play for England against Germany. It is the stuff of dreams. "It is a massive game. I grew up watching games like this, dreaming I would be part of it one day. I have always believed in myself. I knew if I was playing well enough and doing what I am good at I would get the opportunity again."

With World Cup qualifiers on the horizon, Capello might not get many more opportunities to test out players such as Carrick, Darren Bent, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Ashley Young - and be forgiven by the fans if they fail. With a virtually second-string England side on show, the pressure will be off giving the players the chance to prove they are worthy of the international stage. Meanwhile the Germany coach, Joachim Low, has also taken the opportunity to blood new players, bringing in Marvin Compper, Marcel Schafer and Tobias Weis their first caps.

It could well lead to a more open game as he added: "A game like this against a strong opponent allows us to learn a few things. "We are able to try a few other players but England will be tough opponents." @Email:akhan@thenational.ae