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Scotland boss leaves out Gordon for Norway clash

SoccerNews in World Cup 4 Aug 2009

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Scotland coach George Burley has left Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon out of his squad for next week’s crucial World Cup qualifier against Norway.

Gordon has been struggling to recover from a knee injury after undergoing surgery at the start of May and he is still not fit enough to feature in such an important match.

Burley is already without Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor, whose Scotland career is over following his drunken behaviour on international duty last season.

Gordon’s absence leaves Burley with three inexperienced goalkeepers at this level in Neil Alexander, David Marshall and Jamie Langfield.

Scotland are currently joint second in Group Nine with seven points from five matches. A win over bottom team Norway would keep Burley’s men in pole position to clinch a play-off place ahead of Macedonia.

As expected, James McFadden returns to the squad for the first time since November, while there are also recalls for Celtic midfielder Shaun Maloney, Burnley defender Steven Caldwell, Preston full-back Callum Davidson and Rangers striker Steven Naismith.

Celtic midfielder Scott Brown is included, despite only recently returning from injury, but there is no place for veteran Rangers defender David Weir, Cardiff midfielder Gavin Rae or Derby’s Gary Teale.

Stephen McManus, James Morrison, Gary Naysmith, Kirk Broadfoot and Chris Iwelumo were all omitted due to injury.

There are ongoing discussions with Manchester United regarding the early release of Darren Fletcher, with Burley keen for him to miss Sunday’s Community Shield clash with Chelsea.

Scotland squad for World Cup qualifier against Norway in Oslo on August 12:

Neil Alexander (Rangers), Jamie Langfield (Aberdeen), David Marshall (Cardiff); Darren Barr (Falkirk), Christophe Berra (Wolves), Gary Caldwell (Celtic), Stephen Caldwell (Burnley), Callum Davidson (Preston), Alan Hutton (Tottenham), Jamie McAllister (Bristol City), Steven Whittaker (Rangers); Graham Alexander (Burnley), Scott Brown (Celtic), Kris Commons (Derby), Darren Fletcher (Manchester United), Paul Hartley (Bristol City), Shaun Maloney (Celtic), James McFadden (Birmingham); David Clarkson (Bristol City), Steven Fletcher (Burnley), Ross McCormack (Cardiff), Kenny Miller (Rangers), Steven Naismith (Rangers).

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