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Meet the Glasgow Rangers star out to ruin Kane’s England debut

| 23.03.2015

Tottenham Hotspur starlet Harry Kane could find his route to Euro 2016 qualifying glory blocked by a defender with an established reputation north of the border.

Marius Zaliukas may be an experienced and familiar face in Scottish football, but he remains relatively unknown to English football fans.

The 31-year-old spent seven seasons with Hearts, helping the Edinburgh club claim the Scottish Cup in 2012, which is no mean feat in an era dominated by the country’s big two.

After leaving the Tynecastle side, Zaliukas signed a contract with Leeds United after impressing on trial with the Whites.

But despite initially adapting well to life at Elland Road, the Lithuanian stopper soon found himself struggling for first-team appearances following a loss of form.

Released by the Yorkshire club last summer, Zaliukas returned to Scotland, signing with Glasgow Rangers on a two-year deal.

His progress this term may have been slow and steady but there have been signs of an upturn in form for the defender and a return to the kind of displays that made him so popular at Hearts.

Zaliukas was particularly impressive for the Gers in a 2-0 victory over promotion play-off rivals Hibernian on Sunday, a result that has breathed fresh life into their faltering campaign.

Selected by Lithuania to face England in this weekend’s Euro 2016 qualifier, the 31-year-old’s tenacious tackling and commanding presence at the back could be crucial to helping the European minnows pull off a shock result.

With Kane in line for an appearance too, the Rangers man could be the one to deny him a dream debut.

And we can think of a few Scotland fans who may be cheering him on to do just that come Friday.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.