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Levein opts for experience in Euro 2012 qualifying squad

| 24.08.2010

Scotland manager Craig Levein has recalled David Weir and Paul Hartley to his squad ahead of the Euro 2012 qualifiers against Lithuania and Liechtenstein.

Levein knows that if Scotland are to have any chance of making it to Euro 2012 then they must beat the two weakest teams in Group I before preparing for clashes with current World Cup winners Spain and the ever dangerous Czech Republic.

Scotland are 12/1 to win the group, with Spain considered the 1/5 favourites.

Therefore, he has opted for experience in his squad with 40-year-old Weir and Hartley, who has showed signs of returning to his best with Aberdeen.

However, Levein has denied that the decision to call up Rangers defender Weir in particular is for any other reason than his present good form.

Levein said: “My job is to pick the best players for each position. The thing about Davie is he is still playing at the highest level week in, week out.

“The fact he is still turning in top-class performances means it was a pretty easy decision to make for me. I had a look at a few people in the last couple of games, but we are playing for real now.”

Meanwhile, Blackpool goalkeeper Matt Gilks is able to play for Scotland, despite being born in Rochdale, because of his grandparents and has also been called up to his first squad.

Levein has additionally opted to name Wolves striker Steven Fletcher and Sunderland defender Alan Hutton in his 26-man party, even though both have been definitely ruled out of the away game in Lithuania because of injury.

Scotland can be confident about heading to the country as they won 2-1 on their last visit during qualifying for Euro 2008 and then completed the double in a 3-1 success on home soil.

Scotland are 200/1 to win Euro 2012 despite being expected not to qualify for the finals. See the whole Euro 2012 winners market.



Ed Needham