Boyd back in Scotland starting XI

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 2:03

Boyd back in Scotland starting XI

The Middlesbrough striker will line up alongside former Rangers team-mate Kenny Miller in what looks to be a 4-4-2 formation.
Birmingham’s James McFadden also comes back in after coming off the bench for the last 25 minutes of Friday night’s goalless draw in Lithuania.
Hearts left-back Lee Wallace returns too after missing the Kaunas clash with an ankle knock.
Rangers full-back Steven Whittaker drops out after picking up a calf injury in that opening European Championship qualifier.
Barry Robson and Steven Naismith, who lined up on the flanks of a five-man midfield in Kaunas, have also made way as Craig Levein makes three changes to his starting line-up.
Levein again confirmed his team selection through the Scottish Football Association on the eve of the contest but this time there were few surprises.
Naismith’s inclusion for the Lithuania clash had raised eyebrows but Levein had been looking for a solid shape and was rewarded with Scotland’s first clean sheet on the road for three years.
That shut-out came in a victory in France, courtesy of McFadden’s stunning winner, three days after Boyd had opened the scoring in a 3-1 home win over Lithuania – the last time he started for his country.
Boyd exiled himself from the international set-up amid frustration at being consistently overlooked by former manager George Burley.
The forward’s last appearance in a competitive international came off the bench late in Scotland’s 1-0 defeat in Macedonia two years ago in their opening World Cup group game.
The ex-Kilmarnock hitman, who has scored seven goals for Scotland, will resume his successful partnership with Miller while McFadden could also join them up front in a possible 4-3-3 formation.
Skipper Darren Fletcher will win his 50th cap in midfield alongside Lee McCulloch and Scott Brown, who retain their places despite being booked in Kaunas.
Another yellow card for either would see them miss Scotland’s next qualifier in Prague but Levein is relaxed about that situation.
The change in personnel, and probably tactics, will please the Scotland support as they look for a convincing win to take them into a difficult double header against Czech Republic and Spain next month.
Boyd has started only six of his 16 internationals but each of those games has resulted in a Scotland victory, against Austria, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Georgia and the Faroe Islands, twice.
The 27-year-old has netted six times in those games with his other Scotland goal coming off the bench in a 1-0 win over South Africa.
Boyd restored himself to the Scotland fold after Levein took over and made his return in a 1-0 friendly win over the Czech Republic in March before being left out of subsequent games against Sweden and Lithuania.
Scotland team to face Liechtenstein in Euro 2012 qualifier at Hampden Park (kick-off 8pm): McGregor, Hutton, Weir, McManus, Wallace, Brown, D Fletcher, McCulloch, McFadden, Boyd, Miller.

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