Steve Clarke names Scotland squad for pre-Euros friendly games

Craig Gordon has made his long awaited return to the squad but Callum McGregor misses out.

Steve Clarke has named his Scotland squad for the upcoming friendly matches against Northern Ireland and the Netherlands as preparations for the European Championships continue.

Seven players from the Scottish Premiership have been selected with three from Hearts, two from Celtic and one each from Motherwell and Rangers.

Veteran goalkeeper Craig Gordon returns to the fold for the first time since his horror double leg break on Boxing Day of 2022.

He is one of four keepers named in the 25-man squad alongside Angus Gunn, Zander Clark and Liam Kelly.

Celtic captain Callum McGregor misses out through injury but others including Kieran Tierney and Andy Robertson, who missed the last matches, return.

Grant Hanley and John Souttar are also back in and Lawrence Shankland retains his place in the squad as Jacob Brown drops out.

First choice right-back Aaron Hickey is also injured, so he won’t be involved in the double header being played next week, with Celtic’s Anthony Ralston brought in as cover.

Jacob Brown is also injured while Rangers midfielder Ryan Jack is absent after being troubled by fitness issues in recent months.

The games will be the national teams penultimate meet up before taking off to Germany for Euro 2024 when the squad will need to be cut down to 23.

So assuming McGregor and Hickey return in time for the summer, another four men will have to drop out for the tournament.

Only three goalkeepers will be on the plane, meaning one of the four selected in this squad won’t be included.

Scotland will play The Netherlands in Amsterdam on Friday March 22 before taking on Northern Ireland the following Tuesday.

They have another two friendly matches against Finland and Gibraltar before the opening game against Germany in Munich, but by that time the final squad should be finalised.

Speaking to the media after announcing his squad on Tuesday, Clarke said: “It’s good to get a few back, obviously there are still three or four missing that I would liked to have had in the squad, but the key thing for me is to make sure that come the start of May I’ve got tough selections to make and everybody fit and available.

“If we can get to May and I have to make those tough decisions, obviously it will be unfortunate for the ones who miss out, but that’s part of the job, I have got to do it. I will be ready to do it.”

Clarke also explained his reasoning behind picking four goalkeepers:

He said: “It gives us a chance to look at Craig up close because he has had three competitive games and, without being disrespectful to the opposition Hearts have played in the cup, probably not games where Craig was over-worked,” he said.

“So it will be nice to see Craig in training with the other goalkeepers. Three of those goalkeepers will go to the Euros and one will miss out. That’s the situation.”

Scotland squad in full for pre-Euros friendly matches

  • Zander Clark (Hearts)
  • Craig Gordon (Hearts)
  • Angus Gunn (Norwich City)
  • Liam Kelly (Motherwell)
  • Liam Cooper (Leeds United)
  • Grant Hanley (Norwich City)
  • Jack Hendry (Al-Ettifaq)
  • Scott McKenna (FC Copenhagen)
  • Ryan Porteous (Watford)
  • John Souttar (Rangers)
  • Nathan Patterson (Everton)
  • Anthony Ralston (Celtic)
  • Greg Taylor (Celtic)
  • Kieran Tierney (Real Sociedad)
  • Stuart Armstrong (Southampton)
  • Lewis Ferguson (Bologna)
  • Billy Gilmour (Brighton)
  • John McGinn (Aston Villa)
  • Kenny McLean (Norwich City)
  • Scott McTominay (Manchester United)
  • Ryan Christie (Bournemouth)
  • Che Adams (Southampton)
  • Lyndon Dykes (QPR)
  • Lawrence Shankland (Hearts)

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code