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Aug 24, 2010

Scotland recall for 40-year-old Weir

Rangers captain David Weir is set to make a dramatic return to the Scotland team after being included in Craig Levein's squad for the Euro 2012 qualifying matches against Lithuania and Liechtenstein next month.

It had appeared that Weir's international career was over when Levein left him out of his first two squads after taking over from former national team boss George Burley last December.

However, a depressing 3-0 defeat in Sweden earlier in the month in the last warm-up game before the qualification campaign begins has led to a recall for the 40-year-old.

Weir had an understanding with Burley that he would only be called up if he was certain to play and Levein could now put him straight into his defence for the game in Lithuania on September 3.

The former Hearts and Everton defender has demonstrated his bouncebackability before; having been left out of Burley's plans last year but was recalled for the World Cup qualifying double-header against Macedonia and Netherlands in September 2009, his last game being the 1-0 defeat to the Dutch at Hampden.

"The thing about Davie is he is still playing at the highest level week in, week out," Levein told the Scottish Football Association's official website. "The fact he is still turning in top-class performances means it was a pretty easy decision to make for me.

"I had a good chat with him last night and I told him I was not just bringing him along for the ride. I had a look at a few people in the last couple of games but we are playing for real now.

"My job is to pick the best players for each position and if you look around, Davie is probably as good as anyone.''

Blackpool goalkeeper Matt Gilks has been called up for the first time after the Scottish Football Association discovered that the player has Scottish grandparents.

Rochdale-born Gilks replaces Neil Alexander and, with Gordon Marshall, will be back-up to Allan McGregor who will again be the first choice in the absence of the injured Craig Gordon.

Rangers defender Andy Webster returns after missing the friendly against Sweden through injury and midfielder Paul Hartley is back in as expected.

Steven Fletcher (foot), Alan Hutton (groin) and Kevin McNaughton (hamstring) will not be fit for the Lithuania game but could be ready for the match against Liechtenstein at Hampden on September 7.

Scotland squad:

Marshall (Cardiff), McGregor (Rangers), Gilks (Blackpool); Hutton (Tottenham), Berra (Wolves), Broadfoot (Rangers), McManus (Middlesbrough), Weir (Rangers) McCulloch (Rangers), Wallace (Hearts), Webster (Rangers), Whittaker (Rangers), McNaughton (Cardiff); Adam (Blackpool), Brown (Celtic), Dorrans (West Brom), Fletcher (Man Utd), Morrison (West Brom), Robson (Middlesbrough), Hartley, (Aberdeen): Boyd (Middlesbrough),Fletcher (Wolves), Iwelumo (Burnley), McFadden (Birmingham), Miller (Rangers) Naismith (Rangers).

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