Scotland manager Craig Levein is confident he has the players at his disposal to challenge for World Cup qualification.
On Saturday Scotland were drawn alongside Croatia, Serbia, Belgium, Macedonia and Wales in the qualifying draw for Brazil 2014. Levein is optimistic Scotland, who have not qualified for a major finals since the 1998 World Cup in France, can belie their billing as fourth seeds, but is also cautious about a group he described as "condensed".
"I do believe if we can continue our improvement and our players domestically can keep the improvement going, I'll be extremely happy going into the first fixture," he said.
"I have had the pleasure of working with the lads for the last year or so and I see a togetherness and a team unity which will enable us to punch above our weight."
Levein's belief in his charges comes in part from seeing many of them perform in the Barclays Premier League week-in, week-out.
He added: "In the English Premier League we have something like 15 players eligible to play for Scotland and that's encouraging.
"Also all of a sudden we're starting to see Scotland players being bought for a lot of money. It's a long time since that's happened and it's happening now on a regular basis."
One of those players is David Goodwillie, who could today complete a move from Dundee United to Blackburn. Levein is poised to name his squad for the August 10 friendly with Denmark and confirmed Goodwillie would be included.
Former United boss Levein has backed the 22-year-old to perform if, as seems certain, he leaves Tannadice.
The Scotland manager added: "If any team gets David Goodwillie for £2million, I think that's a steal, knowing his capabilities and the fact I believe he'll score goals wherever he goes."
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