EURO 2012 Qualifier: Lithuania V Scotland

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    Tip Lost EURO 2012 Qualifier: Lithuania V Scotland

    Post by 1x2 Insider on 1st September 2010, 14:55

    EURO 2012 Qualifier

    Lithuania V Scotland
    Pick : 2
    Odd : 2.80
    Stake : 3/10




    Lithuania

    Situated in the north of Europe, Lithuania will be doing their utmost to ensure they remain competitive throughout qualifying as they look to qualify for their first ever major tournament, having never played in either a European Championship or World Cup proper. In all honesty, that feat doesn’t look likely to change any time soon, especially not in a group as competitive and difficult as this one; Group I.

    Ranked eleven places behind Scotland in FIFA’s World Rankings, Lithuania will look to defy the odds on Friday by halting Scotland’s aspirations of making their first major tournament since 1998. However, the last meeting on Lithuanian soil between the two didn’t go accordingly with home advantage, as Scotland ran out 2-1 winners, but that doesn’t necessarily rule the home side out of exacting some revenge on Friday, as there was glimpses of form during their World Cup qualifying which would indicate a possible winning start for Raimondas Zutautas’ men. Despite suffering narrow 1-0 losses to France & Romania, Lithuania did manage wins over Austria (2-0) and the dangerous and well equipped Serbia (2-1) – Two results which should have Scotland rightly on their toes and a little apprehensive about their trip to Kaunas.

    Lithuania’s form, however, since capping off a promising World Cup qualifying campaign with a 2-1 win over Serbia hasn’t been ideal, with Zutautas seeing his side lose back-to-back friendly internationals to nearby Ukraine (4-0A) and Belarus (2-0H).


    Scotland

    Craig Levein and his depleted Scotland ranks will be hoping to start EURO 2012 qualifying with a bang as they make a familiar trip to Lithuania to take on a team they have faced in the previous three European qualifying campaigns – With Scotland’s record in Lithuania standing at W1 D1 L1. Miserable memories of World Cup qualifying, where the Scots didn’t get anywhere near making the cut for South Africa, still linger and will continue to do so until Scotland’s finest show their true potential and start bringing home the bacon for a change.

    Scotland have been handed a golden opportunity to begin their road to Poland-Ukraine in 2012 with a quick-fire back-to-back winning spree, with the Scots beginning their journey with a reasonably difficult trip to Kaunas, Lithuania in a fixture which is nevertheless winnable, while just four days later they return home to Hampden Park where nothing less than a comfortable win is expected over Group I minnows Liechtenstein. To be brutally honest, what with Scotland being involved in a five-team qualifying group meaning just one country automatically progresses to the finals in two years time without the need of a play-off, anything less than maximum points from their opening two contests will be good enough to keep them in toe with the group’s leading players; the dangerous and usually very consistent Czech’s and, of course, the highlight of Group I, reigning World and European champions Spain – There is absolutely no room for error in Levein’s first meaningful game in charge of Scotland.

    The former Dundee United now turned Scotland manager hasn’t been dealt any favours, with news of injuries to key players hampering his preparations ahead of two significant encounters. Defenders Andy Webster, Kevin McNaughton and Lee Wallace have all been ruled out of Friday’s Group I opener while forward Chris Iwelumo, who infamously missed an opening foal for Scotland during their disastrous World Cup qualifying campaign, further depletes Levein’s squad. To add to his woes, Steven Fletcher is nursing a foot injury picked up early in the season when playing for his club side Wolves and is unlikely to start against Lithuania, meaning Levein will decide whether to partner Kenny Miller with either Kris Boyd or James McFadden, with the latter likely to get the nod as Levein looks to pack the midfield.


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