Vauxhall International Challenge Match
Scotland v Australia
Wednesday 15 August 2012, kick-off 8 pm
Easter Road Stadium, Edinburgh
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Experienced Scotland centre back Christophe Berra can’t wait to play Australia in his home town of Edinburgh next Wednesday.
The Wolverhampton Wanderers defender – capped 20 times – grew up in Auld Reekie and made 123 appearances for the maroon half of the city.
But Berra is looking forward to sampling the atmosphere of Easter Road next week.
“I think it’s great that we are playing in Edinburgh,” he said.
“I grew up five minutes from Easter Road and know what a good atmosphere there can be on a match day.
“Taking friendly matches around the country is a good idea and I know the team are looking forward to it.”
Scotland’s FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifiers are only weeks away and Berra said he was aiming to impress national team coach Craig Levein to secure a starting place against Serbia on September 8 at Hampden.
“There is competition for a place in every area ,” he added.
“In my position we have Gary Caldwell, Grant Hanley and
Andy Webster so I appreciate the importance of putting in a good performance in friendly matches.”
Scotland’s last match was a 5-1 loss to the USA in Florida in May and Berra admitted the squad were looking to make amends for the defeat.
“That match came at the end of a long, hard season but it is no excuse,” he said. “I know the lads don’t want to let the fans down against Australia, they always give us fantastic backing”
Scotland captain Darren Fletcher, although not part of the squad, is due to train with them on Monday as he aims to return from illness.
“I think this will be good for Darren and good for the squad,” he said. “He is a top player and lad and it has been good of the manager to involve him. This will give him and the boys a boost.”
Assessing Scotland’s chances of making it out of Group A in the FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifiers – which contains emerging nations such as Belgium, Croatia and Serbia – Berra said: “There are a lot of world class players in our group.
“You have players such as Edin Hazard, Vincent Company and Luca Modric in this group so we know we have a tough task ahead.
“But I believe there is no one outstanding candidate for winner of the group and that we, especially at home, are more than capable of taking points off every team.”