Gordon Strachan expects to welcome back some familiar faces as well as introduce some new ones for Scotland’s forthcoming double-header against Czech Republic in Prague and Denmark at Hampden.

While Gordon is disappointed to be without James McArthur, whose formidable season at Crystal Palace has been curtailed by an ankle ligament injury, he is nevertheless looking forward to welcoming back Robert Snodgrass. The Hull City attacker has made a swashbuckling return after 15 months out and after a man of the match performance for the Tigers against fellow Championship promotion hopefuls Sheffield Wednesday on Friday night, he is back in international contention.

“I am absolutely delighted to see Snoddy back playing and making an impact for Hull,” said the manager. “We have kept in touch with him all the way through his rehabilitation and he has been around the squads: even during the hardest parts of his recovery he always arrived with a smile on his face and the rewards he is getting now back on the pitch are thoroughly deserved for what he’s had to contend with through injury.

“The most important thing is not to rush him – it’s far more important he is back to 100% for his club and ready for the start of the World Cup Qualifiers – but I know how enthusiastic he is and he makes a difference to our squad. I will keep in touch with Steve Bruce up until we announce the squad but if he thinks he is ready, and Robert does, too, then we will look forward to having him back.

“The flip-side is that we will not have James McArthur, who has had a really terrific season for Palace before his injury. He has really come of age this season as a Premier League player and, like Snoddy, I really cannot ask for more from James than he gives every time he joins up for international duty.”

The national coach has already confirmed his intention to select largely different squads for each fixture.

“I want everybody who is involved in these matches to get some game time so for that reason we will select smaller squads than normal, but for those who may benefit from more than one game we can factor that in, too,” explained the national coach. “The important thing is to get the right balance for each squad but at this vital stage of the season at club level, it is also key to do what is right for each player and their individual circumstances.”

Both Scott Brown and Alan Hutton are on the cusp of earning their 50th caps on the next international gathering, ensuring their place in the International Roll of Honour. At the other end of the spectrum, Gordon is also planning to introduce some debutants.

“There have been some young players who have caught the eye this season and who have certainly put themselves in contention. I will speak to the Performance Director, Brian McClair, before we confirm anything because I’m aware Ricky [Sbragia] and Scot [Gemmill] have important Under-21s qualifiers and an Under-19 Elite Round at the same time.

“There may be one or two more surprises but that depends on how players perform over the next week to 10 days, when we will finalise the squads.”

Gordon will announce both squads at Hampden Park on Thursday, 10th March.