Levein Laments Loss

Scotland manager Craig Levein's squad for the pre-EURO2012 group game against Sweden could be stripped of up to six players. This means his plans for the EURO2012 double-header against Lithuania and Liechtenstein have to be reconsidered. Definitely out are Alan Hutton (groin), Lee McCulloch (viral infection) and Andy Webster (hamstring)  and there are serious doubts over Scott Brown (foot) Graham Dorrans (groin) and David Marshall (elbow). Levein had already lost number one keeper Craig Gordon (broken arm) and defender Gary Caldwell (two hip operations during the summer). Dundee United have provided Scott Robertson and Garry Kenneth to augment the squad and Everton's Iain Turner will be called up if Cardiff keeper Marshall is unable to shake off the reoccurrence of his elbow injury picked up today against Sheffield United.

This could mean that Levein has to cope without six players who could be considered first picks for the last game before the European qualification campaign begins in September. However, the Scotland boss remains stoic. He said: "I'm disappointed to lose some important players but it would have been worse had it happened before a qualifier instead of a friendly. The players out would not have been available even if it was a qualification match. It's not ideal not being able to use a full-strength squad against Sweden, for the last game before the Euro 2012 qualifiers begin. When you consider Gary Caldwell and Craig Gordon were not in the original squad, we have lost a core of players who have been established internationals in recent years. But it gives others an opportunity to put themselves in contention and we have added a couple of young players with great potential."

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