Fox and Naismith back on board

PA Sport
Steven Naismith has not played for Scotland for 10 months

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Steven Naismith has not played for Scotland for 10 months

Steven Naismith and Danny Fox will both end their Scotland exiles by starting against Australia at Easter Road on Wednesday night.

Everton forward Naismith has not played a competitive match since suffering cruciate ligament damage while playing for Rangers in October last year, but scored a first-half hat-trick in a pre-season friendly against AEK Athens at Goodison Park.

Fox's sole Scotland cap came in the 3-0 defeat by Wales in November 2009 that spelled the end of George Burley's spell in charge. The former Celtic defender's Scotland career looked to have been short-lived but he won a recall after helping Southampton clinch promotion to the Barclays Premier League.

And he could be in line to face Serbia in Scotland's opening World Cup qualifier next month after Sunderland announced Phil Bardsley would need ankle surgery.

Another candidate, Norwich full-back Steven Whittaker, is out with ankle ligament damage and Lee Wallace has fallen down the pecking order after pledging his future to Rangers in the Irn-Bru Third Division.

Charlie Mulgrew is another candidate for the left-back role and could come off the bench at Easter Road.

Manager Craig Levein looks set to experiment with captain Gary Caldwell in midfield, although the Wigan defender has played there before for his country.

Andy Webster retains his place in central defence despite struggling in the 5-1 defeat by the USA in May. Allan McGregor continues in goal but Levein has promised Matt Gilks his debut at some stage. Alan Hutton and Christophe Berra also lined up in defence.

Charlie Adam, Robert Snodgrass and James Morrison join Caldwell and Naismith in midfield, while Rhodes is up front after hitting 48 goals for Huddersfield and Scotland Under-21s.

Team: McGregor, Hutton, Webster, Berra, Fox, Snodgrass, Caldwell, Morrison, Adam, Rhodes, Naismith.

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