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Man Utd's Fletcher to skipper Scotland for Wales clash

Scotland skipper Darren Fletcher will start the World Cup qualifier against Wales after declaring himself fit. The Manchester United midfielder was out of action for 11 months with a chronic bowel complaint, reports BBC Sport. "I always had the belief that one day I would be back and helping the lads qualify for a major competition.

"I feel fit, I feel strong and I feel ready for the games," said the 28-year-old. "It's great to be back.

"I'm just desperate to start. Hopefully I'm playing and I can do my part in getting a good result for Scotland."

Boss Craig Levein is delighted to be call on him for the vital double-header, starting with Friday's match against Wales in Cardiff.

"When Sir Alex thinks Darren is capable of starting, that tells me he's back to the point where he is capable of playing in any situation," explained Levein, whose side have collected just two points from their opening two qualifying games.

"He has played some big games for Manchester United since he came back. I've been in constant contact with him for the last year or so and I feel he's ready to go.

"He feels he's ready to go and his club feels he's ready to go, so I take it he's ready to go. He brings a calmness that I think is important, particularly for the younger players. He's been over the course so many times before. He understands the nature of this match."

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Dave Williams

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