Butcher says Scots' friendly worthwhile despite no-shows

Scotland's assistant manager Terry Butcher maintains the friendly against Northern Ireland is still a worthwhile exercise despite the squad once again being hit by call-offs.

Paul Hartley, Gary Caldwell, Gavin Rae, Kevin McNaughton and Callum Davidson have all been forced to withdraw from tomorrow's match at Hampden. No-shows are nothing new for manager George Burley, who also saw his previous two squads for friendlies against Croatia and the Czech Republic hit by injury.

He has drafted in David Weir, Graham Alexander and Michael Stewart but once again faces the prospect of being without his strongest possible side for his final preparatory match ahead of the World Cup qualifiers.

The visit of the Irish is also unlikely to bear much resemblance to the campaign opener in Macedonia on September 6, either in terms of style of play or conditions, but Butcher believes the friendly is still merited.

"It's a chance to get the boys together and to have a look atindividuals who are coming in as well," he said. "Northern Ireland play a different style of game but it's about getting a winning team on the pitch if we can.

"We want to give the crowd something to cheer about, something to enjoy. We are on our home patch and we want to put on a show and lay some foundations for those two World Cup qualifiers."

Arsenal's midfielder Samir Nasri has been added to France's squad for tomorrow's friendly against Sweden after Marseille's Hatem Ben Arfa pulled out. Nasri, who has scored twice in 12 internationals, marked his Gunners debut on Saturday by scoring the winning goal against West Bromwich Albion.

Captain Michael Ballack has pulled out of Germany's squad for the friendly against Belgium after picking up a foot injury.

The Chelsea midfielder limped out of the 4-0 Premier League win over Portsmouth and rang Germany coach Joachim Low to say he would miss tomorrow's clash in Nuremberg. Ballack is the third midfielder to pull out through injury, following Torsten Frings and Jermaine Jones.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor