Lithuania poised to experiment against Czechs
Last updated on .From the section Scotland
Lithuania coach Raimondas Zatautas is poised to send out a young, experimental team against the Czech Republic in Kaunas.
That's despite the result affecting Scotland's chances of qualifying for the Euro 2012 finals.
"We have a chance to try out some fresh faces, but at the same time we want to end the campaign with a win," said the under-pressure coach.
Lithuania have yet to win at home during the qualification campaign.
And Baku's Deividas Cesnauskis, who has switched from the wing to right back since leaving Hearts, has failed to recover from illness.
He joins Rostov winger Edgaras Cesnauskis, who is suspended, and CSKA Moscow midfielder Deividas Semberas and former Arsenal and Dunfermline Athletic striker Tomas Danilevicius, now of Juve Stabia, on the sidelines.
"Excluding those absences and minor injuries - Marius Stankevicius and Andrius Skerla missed training - preparation has been good," said Zutautas.
The Scots are one point ahead of the Czechs going into the final games in the race to finish runners-up in Group I.
But Craig Levein's side face the daunting task of facing world and European champions Spain on the runaway leaders' own patch and the Scots' hopes could depend on Lithuania repeating their surprise win over the Czechs last year.
Karagandy midfielder Gediminas Vicius is one of a number of young players being considered for inclusion by Lithuania against the Czechs.
"Time is coming when we will have to change the side and now we have a chance to try out new players," said Zutautas.
"Czech Republic has a capable and experienced team, but I believe in my players and that we can achieve a positive result."
Zutautas appreciates that the Czech side has changed since Lithuania shocked their hosts by winning 1-0 in Prague and he expects their opponents to be even more motivated this time.
"Now, the Czech Republic need to win, so they will be looking to attack," he said.
The Czech Republic were disappointing as they went down 2-0 at home to Spain on Saturday but are confident about their trip to Kaunas.
Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky said: "We must win. We lost at home to Lithuania and must win those three points back.
"I believe this team will make up for that failure."
The Czechs are without Tomas Hubschman after the Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder was suspended following his red card after a terrible tackle on Xabi Alonso during Spain's 2-0 win in Prague on Friday.
"We will miss Hybs' defensive qualities, but we hope to spend most of the night on the attack and this is the time for more offensive players, so I hope that his absence will not be as noticeable, although he has played a big part in our qualification campaign," said midfield partner Rosicky.
"Lithuania will be the same as last year in Olomouc when they made it uncomfortable for us by playing with a tight defence and playing on the break.
"But, when they themselves have to attack, they find it more difficult, which was confirmed in both their matches against Liechtenstein."
Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech thinks that destiny awaits them against Lithuania.
"Since the start of the campaign, we have believed that, if we can win in Lithuania, we will go through to the play-offs," he said.
"Of course, if the Scots can win in Spain, they deserve to reach the play-offs, no debate, but it will be very difficult for them.
"We have to go to Lithuania looking for a win as we can't rely on Spain winning."
Bordeaux midfielder Jaroslav Plasil and Anorthosis Famagusta striker Jan Rezek are available again for Czech coach Michal Bilek after missing out against Spain.