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Scotland duo backed for Oranje test

25 Mar 2009 07:15:11

Scotland duo backed for Oranje test

Berra and Barr look set to be thrust into the World Cup qualifier against the Dutch at the Amsterdam ArenA on Saturday. Rangers duo David Weir and Kirk Broadfoot and Derby midfielder Kris Commons all dropped out of the squad through injury on Tuesday and Stephen McManus is losing his battle to recover from a serious ankle injury which kept him out of Celtic's trip to Dundee United at the weekend. If, as expected, McManus misses out, then either Berra, who moved to Wolves from Hearts in January or Falkirk defender Barr will partner Gary Caldwell at the heart of the Scotland defence in a venue where the Scots lost 6-0 in the second leg of a European Championship play-off six years ago. The Inverness boss, however, who spent Tuesday trying to lift the gloom that is slowly enveloping the country ahead of the game, has confidence in both Berra and Barr despite the duo having only four caps between them. He said: "Both players are very good. "I've had first-hand experience of Darren Barr, he has been in the Falkirk side which has beaten us twice in recent weeks. "Christophe Berra is thoroughly enjoying his time at Wolves and doing well in a very good standard of football. "Sooner or later they will get their chance but it is pretty intimidating when you think of it, playing in the Amsterdam ArenA against Holland with the strike power they have at their disposal. "But at this level you will come up against very good players." Manager George Burley will have to consider whether Steven Whittaker, drafted in to bolster a depleted squad, might be a better bet than Alan Hutton for the right-back slot. The Tottenham defender has been out with a foot injury since playing for Scotland against Argentina in a friendly in November and joined up with the Scots squad after playing for Spurs reserves on Tuesday night. Butcher appears to lean towards Hutton starting the game, saying: "Alan is desperate to play after playing 71 minutes of the reserve game for Spurs. "Ideally he would have liked to play more games but sometimes when you come back after a long injury then you run on adrenaline alone. "So you will be up for it in the first two games. "We have other players who can play in that position. "But it is very foolish to say you will save people for the Iceland game because you want to go to Amsterdam with as strong a team as we can and give a good account of ourselves." Scotland Qualify for 2010 World Cup To Qualify: Scotland Qualify 10/3


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