Scotland lose services of Sunderland's Anderson

September 5, 2007

Scotland head coach Alex McLeish has confirmed Sunderland defender Russell Anderson will miss Saturday's Euro 2008 qualifier against Lithuania.

The 28-year-old centre-back has not joined up with the national squad due to a leg injury.

Anderson also looks set to miss next week's qualifier against France, along with Gary Naysmith and Kenny Miller, whose withdrawals were confirmed yesterday, leaving Scotland with 22 players from their original 25-man squad.

McLeish told the Daily Express: 'Unfortunately Russell is also out but we named a large squad in the first place to cover ourselves.

'A couple of players have niggles but nothing that's troubling us and all our focus is on preparing for Lithuania. We're in a positive mood.'

Meanwhile, France coach Raymond Domenech believes next Wednesday's match against Scotland in Paris could be the crunch Group B game for his side.

Group leaders France lost at Hampden in October and are desperate to make amends for that shock result.

`Les Bleus' face Italy in Milan on Saturday, but Domenech said: 'Italy against France is decisive for Italy.

'Scotland-France is huge for France. For me, the match against Scotland is more important that the Italy game.

'Italy are a team we've already beaten in the first round of games. If we don't beat Scotland it's bad news for us.'