Scots to turn out for Toffees
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Walter Smith has allowed James McFadden and David Weir to play for Everton reserves.
Walter Smith has allowed David Weir and James McFadden to turn out for Everton reserves on Tuesday night as they aim to prove their fitness ahead of the daunting Euro 2008 double header against France and Ukraine.
After victories over Lithuania and Faroe Islands, Smith's Scotland side have a much sterner test in the coming week as they play two countries who reached the knock-out stages of the World Cup finals over the summer.
Injury problems have been afflicting Smith ahead of the home game against Les Bleus on Saturday, which is live on Sky Sports 1, as defenders Graeme Murty and Kevin McNaughton have both withdrawn due to injury.
Russell Anderson is also a doubt with striker Kenny Miller suspended, and as such Smith is keen to give his players as much chance of playing as possible.
With Weir spending much of the early part of the season on the bench for The Toffees, and McFadden having not played since the last Euro 2008 qualifier against Lithuania, Smith says the duo will appear for David Moyes's second string side in a bid to regain sharpness for the France clash.
"David and James have not played a lot of football," explained Smith.
"James has not played since the game against Lithuania and obviously feels he needs the game.
"So regardless of the standard, he is better off trying to get a match.
"David played on the Tuesday evening prior to our last couple of games against the Faroes and Lithuania.
"He felt then that it was beneficial for him because he hadn't played a lot for Everton beforehand.
"He feels the same this time so if the players feel it is of benefit to them then I am in agreement."
Scotland assistant manager Tommy Burns has previously stated that two points would represent a good return against two of the strongest sides in a highly-competitive Group B, but Smith says he is not ruling out the possibility of pulling off a shock.
"You always set out to win matches so I don't like to set a specific target as such," Smith added.
"Our objective would be to do as well as we can and if it leads to us winning then fine.
"But it would depend on how the games go. Maybe at the end of the two matches two points would be a decent return but it may be that we play well enough to get more than that.
"We go into it in an optimistic mood and hope to do well."