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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

50-50 Challenge
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By ESPN Staff

Scotland captain Ferguson to return against France

Scotland manager Walter Smith has recalled captain Barry Ferguson and forward James McFadden to his squad for next month's Euro 2008 Group B qualifiers with France and Ukraine.

Rangers midfielder Ferguson missed the wins over the Faroe Islands and Lithuania earlier this month with a heel injury.

The 28-year-old returned to action for the Ibrox club in the Bank of Scotland Premier League win over Falkirk on September 9, and scored a goal in Rangers' 2-0 UEFA Cup victory over Molde on Thursday night.

Injury-plagued Everton forward McFadden is expected to make his club comeback against Manchester City this weekend and hopes to feature for the Scots when they play France at Hampden Park on October 7.

Smith hopes to have McFadden back in time as Celtic striker Kenny Miller is suspended for the visit of Les Bleus after picking up bookings in both qualifiers earlier this month.

Miller's suspension added to doubts over the fitness of both McFadden and Wigan striker Lee McCulloch, who has not played since August 26 due to a knee injury, the Scotland manager faces an anxious wait for fitness reports.

Smith said: 'Losing Kenny was a blow because he has been terrific for us.

'Lee McCulloch and James McFadden have not played since the previous international games, but both hope to be involved with their clubs over the weekend.

'Once they come along, we will see how they got over the weekend games - if they are involved - and try to determine their overall match fitness.'

Everton defender Gary Naysmith is ruled out for the qualifiers through a serious medial ligament injury picked up in the draw with Newcastle last weekend.

But Hibernian midfielder Scott Brown and Cardiff defender Kevin McNaughton, who won his last Scotland cap three years ago, have both been added to the squad.

Norwich goalkeeper Paul Gallacher is also drafted into the squad.

Goalkeepers: N Alexander (Cardiff), Gallacher (Norwich), Gordon (Hearts),

Defenders: G Alexander(Preston) Anderson (Aberdeen), Caldwell (Celtic), Dailly (West Ham), McManus (Celtic), McNaughton (Cardiff), Murty (Reading), Neilson (Hearts), Pressley (Hearts), Weir (Everton)

Midfielders: Brown (Hibernian), Ferguson (Rangers), Fletcher (Manchester United), Hartley (Hearts), McCulloch (Wigan), Quashie (West Brom), Severin (Aberdeen), Teale (Wigan)

Forwards: Boyd (Rangers), McFadden (Everton), Miller (Celtic), O'Connor (Lokomotiv Moscow).