Scotland recall Fletchers for World Cup clashes

Steven Fletcher and Darren Fletcher are the two headline inclusions in the Scotland squad to face Wales and Belgium in upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

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Sunderland's Steven Fletcher celebrates his goal against Liverpool (Reuters)

Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher has not represented his country for almost two years after falling out with manager Craig Levein over the manner of his withdrawal ahead of a friendly against Northern Ireland in February 2011.

However, having scored five goals in four Premier League games since joining the Black Cats from Wolves for £12 million, Fletcher has now returned to a Scotland team who scored just once in their opening two qualifiers against Serbia and Macedonia.

Levein described the player's return as a "no-brainer" following the involvement of an unnamed third party.

He said: "It's a big plus for me and the rest of the team for him to be involved. I got a phone call through a third party during the week and that was an indication from that person that Steven was desperate to come back and play.

"Things progressed between myself, this third party, his agent and the boy himself. I got a text saying he was willing to have a chat about it so I called him last night and, as he said to that person, he was desperate to come back and play. For me, then, it's a no-brainer."

Both men are set to meet face to face this week, with Levein adding: "We went through a number of things and I plan on making an appointment for us to see each other later this week as well so we will go into it a little bit further then."

Captain Darren Fletcher has also been recalled to the Scotland squad for the first time since taking a prolonged break from football after revealing in December 2011 he was suffering from a chronic inflammatory bowel condition.

The Manchester United midfielder made his first start in 10 months in last week's Capital One Cup win over Newcastle and has been included by his country again following talks with Levein.

Celtic's Scott Brown is also back in the squad after missing the opening two qualifiers due to injury.


GOALKEEPERS: Matt Gilks (Blackpool), Allan McGregor (Besiktas), David Marshall (Cardiff City)

DEFENDERS: Christophe Berra (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Gary Caldwell (Wigan Athletic), Daniel Fox (Southampton), Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers), Alan Hutton (Aston Villa), Russell Martin (Norwich City), Charlie Mulgrew (Celtic), Andy Webster (Heart of Midlothian)

MIDFIELDERS: Charlie Adam (Stoke City). Scott Brown (Celtic), Darren Fletcher (Manchester United), James Forrest (Celtic), James McArthur (Wigan Athletic), James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion), Jamie Mackie (Queens Park Rangers), Shaun Maloney (Wigan Athletic), Matt Phillips (Blackpool), Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City)

FORWARDS: Steven Fletcher (Sunderland), Kenny Miller (Vancouver Whitecaps), Steven Naismith (Everton), Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers)

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