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Page last updated at 10:46 GMT, Thursday, 17 March 2011

Injury-plagued keeper Craig Gordon called up by Scots

Craig Gordon
Gordon has had injury problems with Sunderland

Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon has been named in the Scotland squad to face Brazil at the Emirates Stadium despite his recent injury problems.

And Stephen Crainey has been rewarded for his form at Blackpool with a return to the squad for the 27 March friendly.

Also making a return to the Scotland set-up is Watford midfielder Don Cowie.

There are three uncapped players in the squad - Everton goalkeeper Iain Turner, St Johnstone midfielder Murray Davidson and Blackburn defender Grant Hanley.

Gordon pulled out of the squad for last month's Carling Nations Cup meeting with Northern Ireland.

The 28-year-old has not played for his club since 12 February because of a knee injury and was on the bench as Simon Mignolet held Arsenal at bay in their 0-0 draw with the title-chasing Londoners.

But he was told earlier this month by a specialist in Sweden that he would not require surgery at the moment and was instead handed an exercise programme to strengthen the knee.

Some of the younger ones are here for experience

Scotland coach Craig Levein

It appears likely that Rangers' Allan McGregor will remain first choice in Craig Levein's side.

Turner, presently on loan with Preston North End, has returned to the squad, Kilmarnock goalkeeper Cammy Bell having been back-up last time round but being another who is currently injured.

Hanley has retained his place after being involved in the squad despite not making an appearance against Northern Ireland, while Davidson has been in previous squads without winning a cap.

Levein said: "There are 24 players in this squad and it's fairly obvious not all are going to play.

"Some of the younger ones are here for experience.

"I feel this is a game that has such excitement, that it would be great for some of the younger players to come along and experience the occasion.

"Murray is one of those. I'm not saying Murray won't take part in the game, but he is more along to gain experience."

Davidson will hope to emerge unscathed from St Johnstone's Scottish Cup quarter-final against Brechin City to join the squad.

"He has a match on the Tuesday evening, the replay of the Cup tie, so he will fly out to join us on the Wednesday," said the Scotland coach, whose squad will prepare for the friendly with a five-day training camp in La Manga, Spain.

Captain Darren Fletcher is absent after missing Manchester United's most recent games through illness.

Levein has stuck by most of the squad that secured a heartening 3-0 win over the Northern Irish, but Wigan Athletic defender Steven Caldwell is absent despite starting that match.

Caldwell, Craig Conway and James McArthur had been late replacements for the match in Dublin.

Winger Conway has been carrying an injury in recent weeks in the midst of a hectic schedule of matches for Dundee United and is also absent from the squad this time round.

However, McArthur, Aberdeen striker Chris Maguire and Leeds United forward Robert Snodgrass all retain their places in the squad after earning their first caps.

West Brom midfielder Graham Dorrans and Rangers midfielder Lee McCulloch remain absent with the injuries that forced them to withdraw from the Dublin game.

Wolves striker Steven Fletcher remains out of the picture after asking not to be considered for the Northern Ireland match.

Crainey earned his seventh cap in November's friendly win over the Faroe Islands, while Cowie made his second international appearance in a 3-0 defeat by Wales a year earlier.

Brazil have already announced their squad for the match in London and there was no place for captain Robinho after February's defeat by France, but Inter Milan defenders Lucio and Maicon, along with Santos midfielder Elano, were called up for the first time since last year's World Cup finals.

Scotland squad

Goalkeepers: Gordon (Sunderland), McGregor (Rangers), Turner (Everton)
Defenders: Bardsley (Sunderland), Berra (Wolverhampton Wanderers), G Caldwell (Wigan), Crainey (Blackpool), Hanley (Blackburn Rovers), Hutton (Tottenham Hotspur), Whittaker (Rangers), D Wilson (Liverpool), M Wilson (Celtic)
Midfielders: Adam (Blackpool), Bannan (Aston Villa), Brown (Celtic), Commons (Celtic), Cowie (Watford), Davidson (St Johnstone), McArthur (Wigan Athletic), Morrison (West Brom)
Forwards: Maguire (Aberdeen), Miller (Bursaspor), Naismith (Rangers), Snodgrass (Leeds United)

see also
Gordon keen to avoid knee surgery
09 Mar 11 |  Sunderland
No Robinho for Scotland friendly
03 Mar 11 |  Scotland
Scotland confirm Brazil friendly
15 Feb 11 |  Scotland
Levein hopes Scots impressed fans
09 Feb 11 |  Scotland
Scotland 3-0 Northern Ireland
09 Feb 11 |  Irish
Gordon pulls out of Scots squad
08 Feb 11 |  Scotland

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