UEFA EURO 2020 Play-Off Semi-Final
Scotland v Israel
Thursday, 8 October 2020, kick-off 7.45pm
UEFA Nations League, League B, Group 2
Scotland v Slovakia
Sunday, 11 October, kick-off 7.45pm
UEFA Nations League, League B, Group 2
Scotland v Czech Republic
Wednesday, 14 October, kick-off 7.45pm
Steve Clarke has named his squad for the crucial UEFA EURO 2020 Play-Off Semi-Final against Israel and Nations League matches against Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Ryan Porteous and Ryan Fraser are fresh inclusions in the 26-man squad with Callum Paterson recalled alongside Lawrence Shankland who missed out through injury last time out.
Newcastle United winger Fraser replaces the injured James Forrest and Porteous becomes the latest player to make the step up from Scotland Under-21s. The Hibernian centre-back was previously called up last November where he was named as a substitute against Cyprus and Kazakhstan. Having helped keep a clean sheet for Scotland Under-21s against Lithuania last month as well as impressing for Hibernian this season, he has been rewarded with a second call-up.
Robby McCrorie retains his place in the squad, while Sheffield United striking duo Oliver Burke and Oliver McBurnie are also included for Scotland’s most important match in almost two decades.
On Thursday, 8 October Scotland will step out at Hampden Park knowing a win against Israel will secure a place in the Play-Off Final against either Norway or Serbia away from home, in November. Following that eagerly awaited match, Slovakia and Czech Republic will visit Glasgow as Steve Clarke’s men look to add to their four points already secured in League B, Group 2.
Ahead of the triple header Scotland head coach Steve Clarke said: "The focus right now is on the Israel game as it's the first of the three and we'll be ready for it. The players are aware of the magnitude of this game and the chance they have to write a little bit of history for their country. You can't have a bigger challenge than that and it's something we're looking forward to."
Clarke has named a larger squad for this game, with 26 players, which he thinks could be key in dealing with three matches in quick succession.
He said: "When you have so many big games in such a short space of time it's important to have extra players available. With the COVID-19 virus it's a little bit more difficult to call people in and out of your protected bubble so we decided to go with a slightly bigger squad.
"I only found out last night that James Forrest wouldn't be fit for the squad which is disappointing. He's a miss but it's a chance for others.
"I had Ryan (Porteous) with us last November and he trained well. He's had a good start to the season with Hibs and I look forward to seeing him in training."
Although no supporters are permitted for the upcoming three matches, Clarke believes his team will still be able to cope and put in performances to make the nation proud.
He said: "It would be great to have the 50,000 supporters inside Hampden, who bought the tickets, to cheer us on but I'm sure they'll find another way to back us in a safe and sensible manner. It's just something we have to deal with in this current time and hopefully we'll still be able to get people in the stadium to watch us in the coming months.
"Football is a spectator sport and we all miss that side of it but I don't think it will take away from the excitement and the magnitude of the games coming up."
David Marshall (Derby County)
Robby McCrorie (Livingston)*
Jon McLaughlin (Rangers)
Liam Cooper (Leeds United)
Declan Gallagher (Motherwell)
Scott McKenna (Nottingham Forrest)
Stephen O’Donnell (Motherwell)
Ryan Porteous (Hibernian)
Liam Palmer (Sheffield Wednesday)
Andrew Robertson (Liverpool)
Greg Taylor (Celtic)
Kieran Tierney (Arsenal)
Stuart Armstrong (Southampton)
Ryan Christie (Celtic)
John Fleck (Sheffield United)
Ryan Fraser (Newcastle United)
Ryan Jack (Rangers)
John McGinn (Aston Villa)
Callum McGregor (Celtic)
Kenny McLean (Norwich City)
Scott McTominay (Manchester United)
Oliver Burke (Sheffield United)
Lyndon Dykes (Queen’s Park Rangers)
Oliver McBurnie (Sheffield United)
Callum Paterson (Cardiff City)
Lawrence Shankland (Dundee United)
*on loan from Rangers