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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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By ESPN Staff

Kyle and Weir get Scots recall for crucial games

Kevin Kyle and David Weir have been recalled to the Scotland squad for the must-win World Cup qualifiers with FYR Macedonia and Holland.

Striker Kyle, 28, has not played for his country for more than five years but has been a revelation since joining Kilmarnock in January.

He has scored 10 goals in 14 appearances, nine of which have come in his last six games, and replaces the injured Ross McCormack in what is a 25-man Scotland squad.

Defender Weir, 39, was controversially axed by George Burley for this month's 4-0 thrashing in Norway, with the manager suggesting it was time to look at younger alternatives. But the result in Oslo and injuries and suspensions have prompted a U-turn over the Rangers captain.

Scotland skipper Stephen McManus has also been recalled, despite the Celtic defender having not played a competitive game since last season due to a knee injury.

Goalkeeper Craig Gordon is back having played his first match for Sunderland in more than four months in last night's Carling Cup second-round win at Norwich. That means there is no place for Aberdeen's Jamie Langfield.

Burnley captain Steven Caldwell has been included, although he has not kicked a ball in anger since limping out of the Norway defeat with a groin problem.

Younger brother Gary is suspended for the Macedonia game after his sending off in Oslo, meaning Weir looks likely to earn his 64th cap a week on Saturday.

Should he feature in either game, he will become the oldest outfield player to represent his country since Jimmy McMenemy in 1920.

Burley's men currently lie third in World Cup qualifying Group Nine and must beat Macedonia on Saturday week and Holland the following Wednesday to stand any hope of reaching the play-offs.

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