Man Utd boss Ferguson: Scotland players good enough to shock Italy

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Ferguson is convinced Scotland can beat Italy and told The Scotsman: "I think Barry Ferguson is probably having the best season of his career.

"I can't remember when he has played as well as he has been these past few months. Darren Fletcher can be relied on to do well in big games, as he always has. Scott Brown has been in fantastic form since he joined Celtic and Craig Gordon has shown what an excellent goalkeeper he is.

"I also like Paul Hartley very much. Watching his performance when Celtic beat Milan recently, you could see what a good player he has become in that sitting midfielder's role. Kenny Miller is a handful in these matches, he always seems to be right up for them.

"But Alan Hutton's emergence as an attacking right-back has been a revelation. If you look back at Rangers' match against Barcelona at Ibrox, you'll see a very significant thing. During that game, the Spaniards allowed Sasa Papac to do all the attacking he wanted.

"They kept Lionel Messi well forward, ready to take any advantage of any counter-attack. But they didn't do that on the other side. Hutton was not given anything like the same space in which to go forward. They respected Hutton and I'm sure the Italians will, too."

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