Australia ready to gamble on Viduka

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The Independent Online

The Leeds United striker Mark Viduka, who scored during his club's 1-1 draw at Chelsea on Sunday, may yet turn out for Australia in their friendly against Scotland tomorrow night despite injuring an ankle at Stamford Bridge.

The Leeds United striker Mark Viduka, who scored during his club's 1-1 draw at Chelsea on Sunday, may yet turn out for Australia in their friendly against Scotland tomorrow night despite injuring an ankle at Stamford Bridge.

The news will not be well received by Leeds, who have had a history of run-ins with Soccer Australia over the release of Viduka and the club's other high-profile Australian, Harry Kewell, for international matches. Although the Leeds manager, David O'Leary, declared Viduka unfit after Sunday's match, the striker has nonetheless been summoned to Australia's training camp in Glasgow. Kewell is presently recovering from an Achilles injury and was not selected.

"The club has concerns and rightly so," the Australia coach, Frank Farina, said yesterday. "He's a very important player for them at the moment and he is doing extremely well.

"We'll have a look at him with the physio and the doctor and have a consultation with the club and a decision will most probably be made on the day of the game. I have spoken with David O'Leary and he is concerned, yes. For a player who has scored the team's last nine goals in the Premiership he would be a bit concerned.

"We had a good chat. David asked us to have a look at him, he was very concerned," Farina said. "But it's always good to see players who are very keen and want to play for their country."

The Charlton Athletic midfielder Mark Kinsella is expected to captain the Republic of Ireland against Finland in Dublin tomorrow in the absence of the injured Roy Keane and Niall Quinn. Kinsella's club team-mate Dean Kiely has also pulled out of the squad.

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