Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Marshall to be given Scots start


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

Goalkeeper David Marshall will be given a start in Scotland's World Cup qualifier against Norway on Wednesday, BBC Scotland has learned.
The back four will be Alan Hutton, Gary and Steven Caldwell and Calum Davidson.
Graham Alexander has pipped Paul Hartley for the holding role in front of the defensive quartet.
The midfield also features Scott Brown, Kris Commons, Darren Fletcher and Ross McCormack and striker Kenny Miller has been chosen ahead of James McFadden.
Cardiff keeper Marshall was picked instead of Rangers counterpart Neil Alexander, with regular number one Craig Gordon still battling back from injury.
"It's a massive blow losing Craig but it gives someone else a chance," Scotland manager George Burley said ahead of the Group Nine clash in Oslo.
Celtic midfielder Brown has only had 25 minutes of competitive action for Celtic since recovering from ankle surgery.
But Burley added: "Scott has trained well. Each day, he is getting stronger and I'm very pleased that he is available."
The 23 who are here are all fit and raring to go
Scotland manager George Burley
Scotland sit in second place in Group Nine and Burley has targeted six points from the next three games to secure a play-off place for the 2010 finals in South Africa.
Defenders Stephen McManus, Gary Naysmith and Kirk Broadfoot, midfielders James Morrison and Barry Robson, plus striker Chris Iwelumo, all failed to make the initial squad because of injury.
Midfielder and former captain Barry Ferguson and goalkeeper Allan McGregor were not considered because of misbehaviour during Scotland's last get-together.
But, like Norway, Scotland have had no withdrawals from their original squad through injury.
"It's great that we have a full complement of players and that has not always been the case," stated Burley.
"Four players are missing from the last game against Iceland but the 23 who are here are all fit and raring to go and we will announce the team tomorrow.
"I've got a basic idea of who I'm looking to start and we've been through a few things. We have options in a number of positions."
Alexander had surprised many by not promoting his own case for a starting place.
"I think David Marshall will play and deservedly so," he suggested because of Marshall's time as understudy to Gordon and McGregor.
"I know what it's like to be in the squad for years and be overlooked. I'm here as cover because Craig's missing."
Scotland assistant manager Terry Butcher trusted Burley to make the right choice.
"He makes bold decisions; he's always done that in his career and he's done so with Scotland in the past," said Butcher.
"Sometimes, your gut feelings are your best feelings but that's down to George and his gut feelings in the past have been very good."

Steven and Gary Caldwell will partner each other in defence
Gordon had earlier revealed that he had only just missed out on selection and expects to return to training this week after three months out because of injury.
Steven Caldwell, having achieved promotion to England's top flight with Burnley, will be hoping to partner brother Gary, of Celtic, in central defence.
Norway could also field brothers, with Roma defender John Arne Riise a likely starter at right-back and new Fulham signing Bjørn hoping for a midfield berth.
Norway lie bottom of the table and must win their remaining games to have any chance of playing in South Africa next summer.

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