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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 November 2007, 13:42 GMT
Miller is fit for Scotland duty
Scotland striker Kenny Miller
Miller has scored 10 international goals for Scotland
Scotland manager Alex McLeish sprung no surprises in his squad for the vital Euro 2008 qualifier with Italy.

Strikers Kenny Miller and Garry O'Connor have been named in the 25-strong pool for the 17 November game, despite recent groin injuries.

McLeish has no suspension worries and the Scottish Premier League has agreed to postpone this weekend's fixtures involving Celtic and Rangers.

And Scott Brown has recovered from a bad midweek challenge against Benfica.

The Celtic midfielder was the subject of a dangerous tackle from Augustin Binya during Tuesday's Champions League game.

McLeish said: "I was getting stories about broken legs - then we heard that he is fine, which is great news.

"I don't know if it is true or not, but I was told that Scott did not even report in injured."

Miller has resumed light training with Derby this week and, with 10 goals in 34 international appearances, is a key player for Scotland.

If we can beat the world champions here in Glasgow, it would be some feat

Alex McLeish

He was on target in a 1-1 draw when Italy were at Hampden in September 2005 and he scored the opener in Scotland's last home tie - a 3-1 win over Ukraine.

A Scotland win over Italy would ensure a place at next year's finals and McLeish pointed out the significance of the game for himself.

"It is the most important so far, because of what's at stake and also because of the prestige," he said.

"If we can beat the world champions here in Glasgow, it would be some feat, as it has already been a great feat.

"To get 24 points in this group, we have exceeded the expectation levels."

McLeish realises that the hype in the media and among the Tartan Army will intensify in the lead up to the fixture.

And he dismissed suggestions by the likes of France coach Raymond Domenech that Italy are bound to prevail, especially after the Scots lost in Georgia.

"The mentality has been superb," said McLeish. "We don't look back.

"We have handled the pressure so far. We won in Paris. If that's not pressure, I don't know what is.

"It would be hysterical in Italy if they miss out."

Should there be no injuries between now and the Hampden game, McLeish will be able to choose his most trusted side.

"The squad pretty much picked itself," he said, explaining the omission of the likes of Reading full-back Graeme Murty, who played in last month's defeat in Georgia as a replacement for fit-again Alan Hutton.

"There have been lads in and around, like Murty the last time.

"It's a shame we need to leave people out, but this has been the nucleus for the last few games and we go into battle with these guys.

"They have given us so much already and I am looking for one final effort.

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"I totally trust them and they trust each other and they know they have a fantastic chance."

Italy are a point behind the Scots heading into the Group B clash, but they have a game in hand - against the Faroe Islands the following Wednesday.

An Italy win in Glasgow would see them and France make it through before their final matches.

A point at Hampden and a victory over the Faroes would also seal the world champions' passage to next summer's tournament.

France, who lead the qualifying section by a point, will progress no matter the result at Hampden if they pick up a point or more in Kiev on 21 November.

A draw would only be good enough for Scotland if France slip up against Ukraine, or in the unlikely event of a Faroe Islands win in Italy.


Scotland squad

Goalkeepers: Gordon (Sunderland), Marshall (Norwich), McGregor (Rangers)
Defenders: Alexander (Burnley), Caldwell (Celtic), Dailly (West Ham), Hutton (Rangers), McEveley (Derby), McManus (Celtic), Naysmith (Sheffield United), Weir (Rangers)
Midfielders: Brown (Celtic), Ferguson (Rangers), Fletcher (Manchester United), Hartley (Celtic), McCulloch (Rangers), Pearson (Derby), Robson (Dundee United), Teale (Derby)
Forwards: Beattie (West Brom), Boyd (Rangers), McFadden (Everton), Maloney (Aston Villa), Miller (Derby), O'Connor (Birmingham).



SEE ALSO
Scots will fail, says France boss
06 Nov 07 |  Internationals
McLeish delight at SPL call-offs
24 Oct 07 |  Internationals
Strachan backs Scots to qualify
18 Oct 07 |  Internationals


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