BBC Sport football


Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 09:59 GMT, Tuesday, 4 August 2009 10:59 UK

Depleted Scots call up Naismith

World Cup Qualifier, Group Nine: Norway v Scotland
Venue: Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo Date: Wed, 12 August Kick-off: 1800 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Two, BBC Radio Scotland, Radio 5 live and BBC Sport website

Scotland forward Steven Naismith
Naismith has been capped once before for Scotland

Scotland boss George Burley has called up Rangers forward Steven Naismith for the World Cup qualifier in Norway.

The 22-year-old, capped once before, missed much of last season through injury and started in just four games.

With Craig Gordon injured, goalkeepers Neil Alexander and Jamie Langfield are included, along with David Marshall.

Defenders Steven Caldwell, Callum Davidson and Steven Whittaker win calls, with Stephen McManus, Gary Naysmith and Kirk Broadfoot absent.

Chris Iwelumo, James Morrison and Barry Robson are also missing through injury, while Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor have been exiled from the international set-up.

Burley coy on goalkeeper choice

Scotland go into the game sitting second behind Netherlands, who have already won the group, chasing a play-off spot as one of the best runners-up.

Norway must win to keep their slim hopes alive as they sit bottom of the table, four points adrift of the Scots.

Preston left-back Davidson made the last of his 17 Scotland appearances in a friendly against Canada in 2002, while Burnley centre-back Steven Caldwell last featured in March 2006.

Whittaker and Langfield have been included in previous squads but have never played.


Rangers' Alexander and Cardiff's Marshall are likely to be ahead of Langfield in the pecking order but only have five caps between them

"We've got three goalkeepers who are desperate to play," explained Burley, who described the absence of Gordon as "a huge loss".

"Craig is a top international keeper. We tried to give it as long as possible. I spoke to (Sunderland manager) Steve Bruce and Craig. Barring a miracle, he's not going to be available.

"Hopefully, in a couple of weeks' time, he should be fit to play."

Naismith boosted by Scotland call-up

Having recovered full fitness, fans' favourite James McFadden returns to the squad for the first time since November and Celtic midfielder Scott Brown is included, despite only recently returning from injury.

"With Scott, it's one day at a time," added Burley. "There's no doubt a fully fit Scott Brown is something Scotland need."

In the absence of McManus, Darren Fletcher will skipper the side in Oslo. Burley had requested that the Manchester United midfielder be rested for Sunday's Community Shield with Chelsea but the player will join the squad after the Wembley clash.

The seven English Championship players selected will be on club duty at the weekend and will travel north on Sunday, while the rest of the squad convenes on Thursday.

Scotland squad

Goalkeepers:Neil Alexander (Rangers), Jamie Langfield (Aberdeen), David Marshall (Cardiff City)
Defenders: Darren Barr (Falkirk), Christophe Berra (Wolves), Gary Caldwell (Celtic), Steven Caldwell (Burnley), Callum Davidson (Preston), Alan Hutton (Tottenham), Jamie McAllister (Bristol City), Steven Whittaker (Rangers), Graham Alexander (Burnley)
Midfielders: Scott Brown (Celtic), Kris Commons (Derby County); Darren Fletcher (Man Utd), Paul Hartley (Bristol City), Shaun Maloney (Celtic)
Forwards: James McFadden (Birmingham), David Clarkson (Bristol City), Steven Fletcher (Burnley), Ross McCormack (Cardiff City), Kenny Miller (Rangers), Steven Naismith (Rangers)

Print Sponsor

see also
Burley fear over World Cup hopes
03 Aug 09 |  Internationals
Gordon ruled out of Norway match
01 Aug 09 |  Sunderland
Norway coach vows to attack Scots
29 Jul 09 |  Internationals
Hutton targets Norway encounter
25 Jul 09 |  Internationals
Iwelumo blow for Scots and Wolves
20 Jul 09 |  Internationals
Norway v Scotland live on BBC TV
16 Jul 09 |  Internationals

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites