Allan McGregor likely to miss Scotland's World Cup opener

Matt Gilks replaces Allan McGregor against Australia at Easter Road
Matt Gilks replaces Allan McGregor against Australia at Easter Road

Craig Levein is likely to choose between Matt Gilks and David Marshall as Scotland's goalkeeper when they start their World Cup campaign.

The national coach has confirmed Besiktas's Allan McGregor will probably miss next month's opening Group A fixtures against Serbia and Macedonia.

"I don't think he'll make those early games," Levein told BBC Scotland.

"He's got quite a deep tear round about the groin area, which would rule him out."

Marshall sat on the bench for Scotland against Australia
Marshall sat on the bench for Scotland against Australia

McGregor was forced off after 22 minutes, having fallen awkwardly as Australia took the lead during Wednesday's friendly against Australia at Easter Road.

He told BBC Scotland afterwards that he was unlikely to be fit for the start of Scotland's qualifying campaign.

His injury meant that, having returned to his club to undergo a programme of rehabilitation, the 30-year-old who left Rangers in the summer missed out on making his competitive debut for his new club.

Cenk Gonen started the game for Besiktas as they began the Turkish Superleague season with a 1-1 draw away to Istanbul BB.

Blackpool goalkeeper Gilks was McGregor's replacement in Edinburgh, keeping a clean sheet on his international debut as Scotland came from behind to win 3-1.

It would appear to be between the Rochdale-born 30-year-old and Cardiff City's Marshall, the 27-year-old with five international caps, to start against Serbia should they both avoid injury ahead of the 8 September fixture.

Macedonia are the next opponents to travel to Glasgow, three days later.

Former Scotland number one Craig Gordon is still seeking a new club after being released by Sunderland following another injury-hit season.

"Craig Gordon would need to get a club very quickly to have any chance of being involved," added Levein.