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Strachan names Scotland squad for WCQ double header

Gordon Strachan

Gordon Strachan has announced his Scotland squad to face Lithuania and Malta in the World Cup qualifying double header next month.

Millwall keeper Jordan Archer receives his first call up to the Scotland squad after helping the English side to promotion to the Championship last season, at the expense of Hearts keeper Jack Hamilton.

There are also recalls for Steven Whittaker – now at Hibernian – Newcastle United duo Matt Ritchie and Grant Hanley, and West Brom’s Matt Phillips.

In-form Celtic midfielder Callum McGregor has been left out of the setup once again, despite helping the Scottish champions to complete a domestic clean sweep last season and on the brink of reaching the group stages of the Champions League for the second successive year.

Celtic have six players in Strachan’s squad, while there are no representatives from Aberdeen or Rangers.

Question marks are hanging over some of Strachan’s call-ups including Grant Hanley, who has not played since April, yet he is preferred to the likes of Mark Reynolds of Aberdeen who has played consistently for the Dons throughout last season and this one also. Since returning to the English Premier League, Hanley has not featured in the match day squads for Rafa Benitez’s side.

Scotland are currently fourth in Group F trailing league leaders England by six points. They will face Lithuania on 1st September in Vilnius and then Malta three days later at Hampden Park.

Scotland squad

Goalkeepers: Jordan Archer (Millwall), Craig Gordon (Celtic), Allan McGregor (Hull City)

Defenders: Ikechi Anya (Derby County), Christophe Berra (Heart of Midlothian), Grant Hanley (Newcastle United), Russell Martin (Norwich City), Charlie Mulgrew (Blackburn Rovers), Andrew Robertson (Liverpool), Kieran Tierney (Celtic), Steven Whittaker (Hibernian)

Midfielders: Stuart Armstrong (Celtic), Barry Bannan (Sheffield Wednesday), Scott Brown (Celtic), Tom Cairney (Fulham), Darren Fletcher (Stoke City), James Forrest (Celtic), Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth), James McArthur (Crystal Palace), John McGinn (Hibernian), Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion), Matt Ritchie (Newcastle United), Robert Snodgrass (West Ham United)

Forwards: Steven Fletcher (Sheffield Wednesday), Leigh Griffiths (Celtic), Chris Martin (Derby County), Steven Naismith (Norwich City)

What are your thoughts on the squad? Has Strachan picked the right players or are their ones that should have been called up but were not? Let us know your thoughts.

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