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Naismith earns surprise start in Scotland squad

Steven Naismith has been rewarded for his early-season form for Rangers when he was named in the Scotland team for their Euro 2012 opener against Lithuania tonight.

Naismith has not been involved in either of Craig Levein's friendly games but he came straight in for the Scotland manager's first competitive match.

Levein has made eight changes to the team that lost 3-0 to Sweden last month, three of them enforced for fitness reasons as Lee Wallace, Kevin Thomson and Steven Fletcher are unavailable.

James McFadden was the most high-profile casualty from that defeat with Christophe Berra, Kirk Broadfoot and Charlie Adam also making way along with Garry Kenneth.

There were few other surprises in the team. Lee McCulloch won a two-horse race with Paul Hartley for the holding midfield role while Alan Hutton proved his fitness after hernia surgery to take his place at right-back.

Hutton will be part of an experienced back four in Kaunas tonight, with 40-year-old David Weir partnering Stephen McManus at centre-back to become Scotland's oldest capped player, and Steven Whittaker at left-back.

Goalkeeper Allan McGregor, captain Darren Fletcher and midfielder Barry Robson are the only three to retain their places while Kenny Miller starts up front after netting five goals in three games for Rangers this season.


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