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Scotland missing Robertson, Cooper and Souttar as Clarke names squad

The Scotland boss has decisions to make in defence as he plans for Ukraine.

Steve Clarke names Scotland squad to face Ukraine and Republic of Ireland PA Media

Scotland boss Steve Clarke has named his squad for the upcoming Nations League triple-header, with captain Andy Robertson among those absent through injury.

The team are preparing to face Ukraine at home and away later this month, either side of a game against Republic of Ireland at Hampden, and are aiming to get the positive results needed to earn promotion to the top level of the competition, as well as secure a play-off place for Euro 2024.

Scotland beat Armenia twice in the June international break but a surprise 3-0 defeat to Republic of Ireland in Dublin leaves the team in second place in group B1, a point behind top seeds Ukraine.

News of Robertson’s injury comes as a blow to Clarke as he draws up his plans. The Liverpool star and international captain has suffered a knee injury that Jurgen Klopp said rules him out of all three games.

Defensive options are further narrowed with the absence of Leeds United centre-back Liam Cooper, who has 11 international caps, and injury to Rangers defender John Souttar. Sunderland striker Ross Stewart is also out.

Clarke does welcome Arsenal’s Kieran Tierney back to the squad after missing the last camp, while Hibs stopper Ryan Porteous has also been handed a recall.

“It’s always disappointing to lose one of your key players,” Clarke said. “Andy is obviously a key player being captain and a big character for us within the squad.

“But as you lose one top-quality left-back, you gain another with Kieran being available this time. I suppose that softens the blow.

“You want all your good players there and you want them all fit and available but it’s one of the poorer sides of international selection is that you know you’re going to lose players through injury. You’ve just got to deal with it.”

Also returning are Rangers goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin, midfielders Kenny McLean and Ryan Jack, while Ryan Fraser has been added to the attacking options.

Clarke addressed Fraser’s return, which came as a surprise since the player had irked his international manager by missing games last November citing injury, but was then seen training with his club. The player apologised in March but didn’t feature then or in June.

“There’s no real process with Ryan,” he said. “I said in March when he missed the two friendly matches, he and I had a chat.

“Ryan wasn’t playing for Newcastle at the time and I said then that if was fit and available and playing regularly for Newcastle then he’s definitely one that we have to consider for selection.

“He’s in the squad this time because he’s fit and available and playing regularly for Newcastle.”

Scotland start the triple-header by welcoming Ukraine to Hampden on September 21, with the sell-out match against Republic of Ireland three days later.

The squad then fly out to Poland, where they will face Ukraine in Krakow in their last international of 2022.

Scotland Squad

Goalkeepers
Craig Gordon Heart of Midlothian
Jon McLaughlin Rangers
Liam Kelly Motherwell

Defenders
Aaron Hickey Brentford
Anthony Ralston Celtic
Grant Hanley Norwich City
Greg Taylor Celtic
Jack Hendry Cremonese
Kieran Tierney Arsenal
Nathan Patterson Everton
Ryan Porteous Hibernian
Scott McKenna Nottingham Forest

Midfielders
Billy Gilmour Brighton & Hove Albion
Callum McGregor Celtic
David Turnbull Celtic
John McGinn Aston Villa
Kenny McLean Norwich City
Ryan Jack Rangers
Scott McTominay Manchester United
Stuart Armstrong Southampton

Strikers
Che Adams Southampton
Jacob Brown Stoke City
Lyndon Dykes QPR
Ryan Christie Bournemouth
Ryan Fraser Newcastle Utd